President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Mr President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari,
I am very happy for this opportunity to meet now in this new trilateral format, which I think is quite promising, since there are many issues that can only be resolved if we join efforts. This is particularly true of our nations’ greatest challenges, namely, terrorism and crime. I think that if we can create an efficient mechanism, particularly a trilateral one, it would be beneficial to our peoples and conducive to resolving the major challenges before us. I am genuinely happy to welcome you to Yekaterinburg here in Russia, and I am certain that our bilateral contacts, this trilateral meeting, and tomorrow’s continued discussions within the SCO will lead to success and good results for our countries, as well as promoting peace and stability.
President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai (as translated into Russian): Thank you, Mr President, for inviting President Zardari and myself to take part in this important trilateral meeting; it is important to all three of our countries.
I am certain that this is an initial step that will lead us to expanding our cooperation in resolving the common challenges before us. Our cooperation must be effective, first and foremost, in our fight against terrorism and organised crime, in bringing stability to our region. In addition, I think this meeting will allow us to expand our trade and business cooperation, and to ensure access to the economies of our three countries and the entire region. I am hopeful and confident that Afghanistan will be a full-fledged partner in this timely initiative. Thank you again.
President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (as translated into Russian): Thank you, President Medvedev, for inviting me here, and thank you, President Karzai, for taking part in this trilateral meeting. We have common interests and a common history, which is why we must pursue common goals. We need to appreciate that there is a missing element in our world today; that element is the cooperation between neighbouring countries, and sadly, it is missing in our region.
To accomplish our mission we have to accept new responsibilities, including that of fighting terrorism, which is a cancerous threat to my country, to Afghanistan, to your country, and to the entire world. I think that even the current global recession is a consequence of activities by nameless terrorists.
I believe that we need to combine our efforts. I want to emphasise again that I am very happy to be working with you in a bilateral format and in this trilateral format. I hope we will progress with this kind of work.