The UN Secretary General's report to the Security Council released on 6 September 2013 provides an update of UNAMA activities, including in the area of regional cooperation, since 13 June 2013 , listed below. For a full copy of the report, click here.
C. Regional cooperation
23. New Governments in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan presented opportunities for Afghanistan to build on and consolidate relationships with those neighbours. On 26 and 27 August, President Karzai undertook an official visit to Islamabad, emphasizing that for both countries the “primary concern” was lack of security and the menace of terrorism. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated Pakistan’s “strong and sincere support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan” and emphasized a policy of cooperative relations with all neighbours as vital to stable external relations and a focus on domestic priorities. A number of economic and connectivity projects were also agreed.
24. On 4 August, President Karzai attended the inauguration in Tehran of Hassan Rouhani as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During the visit, a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation between the National Security Council of Afghanistan and the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran was signed. Areas of mutual interest include intelligence sharing in combating security threats such as terrorism, narcotics and organized crime. On 1 August, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement and agreements on security cooperation and the transfer of prisoners.
25. On 7 July, Afghanistan became the fifty-fourth member of the Energy Charter Treaty. On 9 July, progress was made on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project with a contract signed in Ashgabat between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan on the sale and purchase of gas. On 13 July, in Kyrgyzstan, a meeting of the Foreign Ministers’ Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization reaffirmed support to Afghanistan as an “independent, peaceful, neutral and prosperous State free from terrorism and drug-related crime”. The central role of the United Nations in international efforts to improve the situation in Afghanistan was also reiterated. Under the Istanbul Process, regional technical groups on all six agreed confidence-building measures held meetings. The political value of regional experts and diplomats coming together to discuss these issues in six countries is in itself a significant achievement.
26. At the invitation of the Government of Pakistan, I visited Islamabad from 12 to 14 August and met with the President, Prime Minister and senior officials. I expressed appreciation for the ongoing hospitality that Pakistan has extended to Afghan refugees and was assured by the new administration of its intention to cooperate with Afghanistan. My Special Representative accompanied me on this visit and also represented me at President Rouhani’s inauguration in Tehran, where, in a series of bilateral meetings, members of the new Iranian administration emphasized a desire for constructive engagement with the international community on issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan. My Special Representative undertook a number of other regional visits as part of the UNAMA mandate of regional outreach, including to Moscow, Beijing, New Delhi and Dushanbe. In all capitals, enhanced commitment to bilateral and regional engagement in support of Afghan-led processes of elections and peace and reconciliation, as well as development and economic issues, was underscored. The interconnected nature of the challenges was recognized, with considerations for post-2014 Afghanistan focused on the need for a successful transfer of political authority through elections and peace and reconciliation efforts, amid fears of the impact of the increasing mobility of extremist groups, the readiness of national security forces, and rising narcotics production and trafficking.