Embassy News

Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman Visits the UK

Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister of Political Affairs, Idrees Zaman, visited the UK for the first time since his appointment.

Summary: His Excellency Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman made an official visit to the United Kingdom, January 29-February 5, 2019.

Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister of Political Affairs, His Excellency Idrees Zaman, visited the United Kingdom for the first time since his appointment in October 2018. During his stay, he held a series of positive discussions with UK government officials and with Afghanistan-focused institutions. His speaking engagements included the historic think-tank Chatham House as well as a sit-down with the BBC Afghan Service.

In London, the Deputy Foreign Minister called on senior government officials, whereby his meetings included private sit-downs with Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field, EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia and Country Director of the World Bank in Afghanistan Shubham Chaudhuri. This created an excellent opportunity for the Deputy minister to evaluate the recent International Contact Group (ICG) meeting as well as to discuss the framework of the on-going peace process.

The first official visit from the Deputy Minister was therefore an important opportunity for the Embassy to highlight the depth of our relationship with the United Kingdom and to identify new areas for potential cooperation.

Speaking at the opening session of ICG on Afghanistan, Idrees Zaman conveyed the gratitude of the Afghan people for the support of our international partners in the on-going peace process, emphasising the importance of Afghan-leadership and Afghan-ownership.
“A fragile peace deal that compromise the great achievements and developments made in Afghanistan will only lead to historic recurrence, which I am sure we all want to avoid” – Idrees Zaman, Opening Remarks, International Contact Group on Afghanistan 2019
the latest ICG on Afghanistan was also attended by Shaharzad Akbar (UNESCO), Nasib Atta (Election Commentator) and Massoud Karukhil (TLO), who discussed the upcoming elections:”It is about more than just voting. It should have a substance in meaning and should reflect the voices of people”.
In a private sit-down with EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia, IdreesZaman discussed the framework of the peace process and recent developments in the peace talks.
At the sideline of this week’s ICG on Afghanistan, Idrees Zaman met with the current Country Director of the WorldBank in Afghanistan to discuss economic development as well as the upcoming 3rd Kabul Process.
Idrees Zaman met with the FCO Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field to discuss the framework of the peace process, as well as the recent ICG meeting on Afghanistan and the upcoming 3rd Kabul Process.
Idrees Zaman visited the Aga Khan Centre in London to learn more about the ways in which the foundation continue to facilitate for cultural exchange and insight into Muslim cultures in the UK and across the world
Idrees Zaman had a number of TV and radio interviews with the BBC Afghan Services.
Incremental progress or returning to impasse? In an invite-only Chatham House roundtable, Idrees Zaman discussed the status of dialogue for peace with the Taliban.
On the last day of the official visit, Idrees Zaman met selected representatives from the Afghan diaspora in the United Kingdom.
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