President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Ladies and gentlemen,
We are beginning our news conference following the meeting between the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan, which we have just completed. My colleagues and I will share our ideas on the outcomes of this four-way meeting.
The Tajikistani side feels that our first meeting in the four-way format was fruitful and wide-ranging in terms of the topics it covered. The idea of holding this meeting was conceived during the last Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Yekaterinburg. I am grateful to my colleagues for supporting the suggestion to hold it here, in Dushanbe.
At the recent G8 summit in L’Aquila, one of the many issues on the agenda was the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There was an emphasis on the need to involve neighbouring countries in the global efforts to support these countries in resolving their socioeconomic problems and security issues. Thus, our meeting fits naturally into the flow of these efforts by the international community.
We had a detailed discussion of the processes taking place in our region. We also analysed global problems such as international terrorism, extremism, drug-related crime, and the effects of the global crisis on our countries.
Our four nations have a common interest in ensuring security and stability in the region, and activating trade and economic as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation. We have great potential for growth in these areas, potential that is not being fully tapped today. Exchanging ideas has allowed us to better acquaint ourselves with our partners’ positions on these issues. Some interesting suggestions were made on expanding and deepening our cooperation in these areas.
All of this is reflected in our statement following the meeting, which will be made available. We decided that Tajikistan will take on task of summarizing the ideas and suggestions that were put forward, so that the governments of our four countries can work jointly on implementing them.
Overall, we are quite satisfied with the outcomes of our meeting. Now, I will ask my colleagues to share their impressions.
President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai (as translated into Russian): Thank you very much, President Rahmon, for your warm hospitality and for organising this four-way meeting.
I am very happy to be in the company of President Zardari and President Medvedev.
Indeed, our meeting today is a first step in further widening and deepening our cooperation, and in seeking a broader consensus in our cooperation in a variety of areas, taking into account our active cooperation in the future.
As a member of the international community, Afghanistan sincerely welcomes these decisions and assures its colleagues and partners that it will actively work in this direction in the future.
Today, we have a very good team here at this meeting. We are truly expressing our appreciation and gratitude for the fact that you have noted and emphasised the need for this format of cooperation involving Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Russian Federation.
President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (as translated into Russian): Thank you, Mr President. Ladies and gentlemen, Assalam Aleikum!
For my part, I feel that this is a great honour for the entire region. We are very grateful to His Excellency Mr President for his vision, his efforts, and his commitment in organising this meeting, uniting our region in need of assistance. The peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan – all the people of the region are counting on assistance and hoping that leaders of the region’s nations will help them overcome their difficulties.
We have already reached agreements regarding all issues, but I would like to remind the entire world that the work we have done today will help future generations. Still, we have a great deal of work to do; much needs to be done, and we must put in the necessary effort.
It is a great honour for me to be here and to share this historic moment with you. I hope that we will foster our cooperation in the future, and that we will accomplish everything that the global community and the people of our nations expect from us.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to begin by thanking President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for inviting us to have such an important four-way meeting here, in Dushanbe. I see this as a symbol of trust, and it is our hope that as a result of our joint efforts the overall state of affairs in this region will improve.
I would like to say straight away that the talks we had were trust-based and constructive. Today, our most important goal is probably to ensure that after this meeting, the various contacts and ties that exist between our countries become more active.
We have a common space where we can implement a variety of projects, and we spoke about this today. We talked about projects in energy, as well as railroad transportation. W need to think about developing regional trade and creating a climate that is conducive to investment.
Only by proceeding in this way can we resolve the very painful and difficult problems that have been accumulating in the region for decades, and which we can resolve only by creating normal living conditions for a greater number of the people living here.
We have had good dialogue within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We think that the projects we discussed today may ultimately be implemented within the framework of the quadrilateral Russia-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Tajikistan format.
Various international institutions can also join in on these projects. If there is an interest, the World Bank could easily get involved.
We are making a wide variety of decisions. As President Rahmon mentioned, we discussed issues related to the economic crisis, supporting underdeveloped states, and providing assistance at the L’Aquila summit.
Assistance must not only be specifically targeted; it must be aimed toward the future. The projects of this kind – trans-border projects, international projects, and energy projects – are a form of real assistance to the states needing help in strengthening their economies.
That is why I believe that the significant resources that we, the global community, are allotting when meeting in the G20 or G8 format (here, we are talking about trillions of dollars), must go toward exactly these kinds of projects.
Clearly, we have an array of problems that have been accumulating over decades, such as drugs, terrorism, and organised crime. We are ready to deal with all of these issues as well, both within traditional formats and within the framework of cooperation that has been created today during our meeting.
The first talks in Yekaterinburg, within the framework of the SCO, were productive. After that, our foreign ministers met in Trieste. Today, we are welcoming a new format and a new dimension of dialogue that is taking place here in Tajikistan. I am certain that contacts of this kind will be promising and useful, as my colleagues just said.
Russia is ready to make its contribution to these processes. All of us are interested in regional and international security becoming more understandable, more transparent, and more controlled. We want them to be based on international laws and on our common desire to help one another, thereby improving the lives of the many people living in this region.
I would like to once again thank our Tajikistani partners and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for inviting us here and for the friendly atmosphere that has been prevalent throughout our consultations.