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Afghan Leader Abdullah Addresses Vision of Regional Peace


Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2018.

Afghan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah last week called on the United Nations and all nations to help his country in getting to "a new phase free of violence'' after more than four decades of conflict.

During a speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he said in the past year Afghanistan has "turned a page and made unprecedented overtures to the Taliban to be part of a credible Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process."

Abdullah said Afghanistan is looking forward to engaging with neighboring states to achieve regional peace and stability.

“Our people, who pose no danger to anyone, are demanding a fundamental change where they can play a constructive and collaborative role" in the region, Abdullah said.

He elaborated on the issues in an interview with VOA's Afghan Service.

"Anything that has an adverse impact on the stability in the region, it will have an impact on Afghanistan," Abdullah said, addressing the building tensions between the United States and Iran, Kabul's western neighbor. "We have millions of refugees there (Iran), we have trade relations" as well as other historical relations.

Watch: Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah

Afghan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Addresses UN
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"Some of the areas that are of concern with us, we have raised it with our partners, including the United States of America," he added.

But Abdullah was less confidant when speaking of Afghanistan's relations with its eastern neighbor, Pakistan.

The two countries have been at odds for years, with Kabul accusing Islamabad of supporting terrorists operating across their shared border. Without specifically naming Pakistan, Abdullah told the U.N. gathering that the Afghan government continues its efforts to “prevent some countries from using terrorism as a political tool for achieving their special goals.”

Abdullah told VOA that Afghanistan is continuing to work toward peace, not just for itself and Pakistan but for the entire region. "Whenever there was an opportunity we have seized it," he said.

WATCH: Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah

Afghanistan Continuing to Work Toward Peace
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But "how much we have succeeded, how much not, that has not (been) dependent on our efforts only. The situation was not satisfactory, hopefully there will be opportunities from this point onward," Abdullah said, referring to the recent change in government in Islamabad and the election of new Prime Minister Imran Khan.