The FINANCIAL — KABUL. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, discussed on May 17 in Kabul initiatives to strengthen Afghanistan's borders with Central Asian states, enhance the country's law enforcement capacities and develop co-operation on combating drug trafficking, as well as how the OSCE could contribute to the efforts of the international community in support of Afghanistan.
Following meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, Saudabayev said: "I am here because the OSCE's engagement with Afghanistan is one of the priorities of the Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship. Security in Afghanistan is linked to security in Central Asia and beyond. It is in our common interest to maintain a stable and secure environment in and around this country."
The OSCE is supporting Afghanistan's efforts to better manage its northern borders, develop cross-border co-operation, and strengthen its law-enforcement potential. The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights also provided expertise to support the Afghan presidential election in 2009, as well as the 2004 and 2005 elections.
"Meeting with the EU Representative, Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas, Saudabayev emphasized the need for international organizations to work closely together and find common approaches to addressing the problems which Afghanistan is facing," OSCE says.
"OSCE participating States are committed to combating terrorism and trafficking in small arms and light weapons, illegal drugs, and human beings. We share a responsibility for helping Afghanistan and its neighbours face these challenges through the coordinated efforts of the international community. This is why the OSCE is working on border security and management, policing and fighting drug trafficking through co-operation between the countries of the region and relevant international actors," Saudabayev said.
Afghanistan, an OSCE Partner for Co-operation since 2003, borders three OSCE participating States. The foreign ministers of the 56 OSCE States agreed in 2007 to intensify OSCE engagement with Afghanistan.
"Kazakhstan will continue to play an active role in furthering the OSCE's contribution to ensuring stability and security in Afghanistan through constructive political dialogue, stimulating cross-border co-operation and trade. The OSCE Summit proposed by Kazakhstan for this year would have Afghanistan as one of its priorities," Saudabayev said.