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Last Updated:[10-11-2009 06:32:58 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Karzai Seeks Islamic Trade Ties to End Afghan Crisis

tradenews The Afghan President Hamid Karzai while speaking at the 25th anniversary of the Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) summit, appealed to the attendees that his country was looking at closer economic ties with the Islamic world to break the cycle of conflict. He tried to lure the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in a scenario where his support from the West was waning and credibility of his government was questioned in view of alleged fraudulent practises employed to win the last week’s presidential elections.

On the sidelines of the summit, Karzai met representatives of eight governments, including the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He declared Afghanistan’s interest was primarily in having close brotherly relations with its neighbours, freedom of trade and transit, and an effective environment of co-operation.

Gul responded to the call by saying that Afghanistan needed foreign military and economic support until the Afghans were able to assume their own security. He was in turn reacting to the impending danger of the plans by the US and the Western powers leaving Afghanistan without providing lasting solution to the conflict region.

Gul in his address said that his country was there to stop the threat of terrorism to the entire region and the world. He further added that Afghanistan should not be allowed to become a safe haven for terrorists, and re-assured support for the NATO-led mission to normalize the situation in Afghanistan and eradicate groups such as Al Qaeda. Turkey has troops serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan, and a Turkish foreign ministry official informed there would be a follow-up conference on Afghanistan in the near future.

Ever since Karzai took office in 2004 the corruption charges including siphoning of foreign aid levelled against his administration always haunted him, and resulted in substantial reduction in the flow of overseas aid. In response, Karzai said he was already addressing corruption in his government by taking necessary action by prosecuting corrupt government officials.

After ousting the Taliban regime, the Karzai administration was rather installed through an election process that saw minimal participation from a relatively confused people those got caught in the crossfire of failing Taliban and the prominent Western powers. But lately, due to radical geo-political shift and disinterest in the region among the West, running the government machinery has seemingly become tough for Karzai.

Leaders from 48 Islamic states were present in the economic summit held in Turkey to promote economic and trade cooperation, reduce poverty and expedite recovery measures among Islamic nations. COMCEC was established during the Third Islamic Summit Conference held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 1981. It became operational at the Fourth Islamic Summit in 1984 with the election of the president of Turkey as its chairman.

By Jose Roy

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