In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Honorable Afghan compatriots, sisters and brothers;
I want to provide clarification on the stance of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the recent political and global developments. We, I and the government leadership, had negotiations with the U.S. Secretary of State yesterday, which I term them overally positive and constructive.
I appreciate and welcome the U.S. government preparation on providing assistance to help combat the spread of coronavirus in Afghanistan. Our cordial and constructive discussions with the U.S Secretary of State were mainly focused on the peace process and strengthening the Afghan Defense and Security forces.
The United States as the foundational partner of Afghanistan fully understands the complications and challenges of the peace process, and both countries continue to work closely and hold sustainable consultations to further promote the process and ensure it yields a successful outcome.
Each and every Afghan citizen yearns for peace. Those who continue to kill Afghans rather than agreeing to a cease-fire, are indeed anti-peace elements.
Yesterday, I also had separate negotiations with my brother Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, former Chief Executive of the National Unity Government. As per the commitments I made during my inauguration speech, I delayed to form the new administration/cabinet in order to hold extensive consultations with other political strata. To meet those commitments, I wanted to consider a fundamental role for Dr. Abdullah in the peace process and for his teammates in the cabinet. He, however, stresses on a constitutional amendment, which is not possible within the course of one night, within the framework of an agreement between himself and me. In other words, he asks for such a structure that runs counter to the provisions of the constitution.
It is not within my authority to amend the constitution, demanded by anyone or any group and in contrary to the mechanisms predicted for it. The door for negotiation is open and will remain open for any demand with logical/rational basis that is not in violation of the constitutional provisions. It is not my authority, but falling within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Loya Jirga to make amendments to the constitution.
We remain committed to form an inclusive government that ensure inclusion of all political, tribal, ethnic, religious and linguistic strata of the country, on which I am working together with my vice-presidents and special representative. Be assured. The experience of governments based on factionalism and favoritism has faced failure in Afghanistan, and we are not pursuing failed experiences.
You have been informed through mass and social media that the United States has reduced its assistance to Afghanistan. We owe to the United States and extend gratitude to the country for its generous assistances to the nation and government of Afghanistan. The governments always have precautionary plans to deal with urgent and unexpected issues and we are no exceptions. In order to recover the shortage, resulted from reducing the U.S assistances, I reviewed all aspects of an austerity budget and will assure you as soon as possible.
I can assure you now that the reduction in the assistance of the United States will not have direct impact on our key sectors and we will make efforts to fill the gap through adopting austerity measures and by finding alternative sources. It is vitally important for us to protect the people lives, keep the prices at a reasonable level, deliver services, and keep the government and republic apparatus in full swing. So I assure you, there will be no impact on people’s lives in these areas. According the US State Department’s press statement, the country is prepared to revisit the reviews they have initiated and we will strive to convince them through negotiations and discussions.
I once again call on the Taliban to embrace the religious clerics’ – Ulama’s – call and agree to a comprehensive ceasefire to save the people of Afghanistan from the catastrophe of coronavirus spread. Those living in the areas under the Taliban control are Afghan citizens and as the president of Afghanistan, I am responsible for their health and well-being, so the Taliban and their supporters will be responsible for any possible tragedy and disaster.
Long live Afghanistan