News / Asia

International Community Looks to Afghan Economic Stability

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (l) co-chairs the 'New Silk Road' meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the German UN Mission, Sept 22, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (l) co-chairs the 'New Silk Road' meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the German UN Mission, Sept 22, 2011
Margaret Besheer

Foreign ministers from a number of countries gathered on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly Thursday to discuss their strategy for establishing sustainable economic growth in Afghanistan as a way to get that country on the road to peace and prosperity.

The high-level meeting brought together Afghanistan, its regional neighbors and members of the U.S.-led coalition who have been fighting the Taliban for the last 10 years.

The U.S.-led international coalition is entering a new phase in its engagement in Afghanistan, as it gets ready to withdraw its troops in 2014.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who co-hosted Thursday’s meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said that as troops are drawn down, the focus would shift towards long-term political and economic support in an initiative called the new Silk Road - a reference to Afghanistan’s historical place in the heart of that ancient trade route.

“The so-called new Silk Road initiative tries to build transportation, trade and energy links in Central and South Asia as a way not only to reinvent and change tradition, but also to support the rebuilding of Afghanistan today," said Westerwelle. "There are already proposals for concrete projects such as a pipeline or roads which we supported.”

Secretary Clinton said sustainable prosperity in Afghanistan would help undercut the appeal of extremism as well as benefit the region as a whole.

“Lasting stability and security go hand-in hand with economic opportunity," said Clinton. "People need a realistic hope for a better life, for a job, for a chance to provide for their family and that is especially true in Afghanistan. For political reconciliation to succeed Afghans must be able to envision a more prosperous, peaceful future.”

Afghanistan is still struggling with insurgents, suicide bombings and other insecurity issues. The assassination this week of former president and head of the government's peace council Burhanuddin Rabbani was a blow to reconciliation efforts. But Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul told reporters after the meeting that the peace process would go on.

“Professor Rabbani was killed because he was starting to be successful in the peace process," said Rassoul. "If he was failing, nobody would have been interested in him. The peace process will go on. And the fact that he was killed showed that the enemy has started to have fear that this process might succeed.”

Rassoul said despite attacks and other problems, the transition process is progressing. He said he expects Afghanistan will need international assistance to train and equip security forces, in addition to economic help, but that the government would take over full control when international forces withdraw.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs