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His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Visits London

Summary: The Chief Executive visited London to underline the strength of the Afghanistan-UK relationship and our cooperation on a wide range of areas including national security, development and education.

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah made an official visit to London on the 5th of June 2018. During his trip, he held a series of positive discussions with the Ministry of Defence, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with the Department for International Development. His speaking engagements included the University of Winchester, the historic think-tank Chatham House, as well as a sit-down with selected representatives from the British media.

As a part of his three-day visit, the Chief Executive, Ambassador Jawad and Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives called on senior UK government officials, whereby the meetings included Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill, General Sir Nick Carter and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. This created an excellent opportunity for the officials to discuss continued UK support to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) ahead of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Afghanistan. The Chief Executive also had the pleasure of meeting The Prince of Wales, thanking him for his vital support to the NGO Turquoise Mountain by preserving Afghan heritage through craftsmanship.

All in all, the visit was an important opportunity for the Chief Executive to build on the close cordial bilateral relations which already exist between our two countries, welcoming the key role that the United Kingdom plays in the region as a key partner in the Counter-Taliban and Counter-Daesh Coalition, as a major humanitarian donor and as a vital mediator in regional disputes. The series of meetings arranged thus reflected the depth of our bilateral relationship, whilst also identifying new areas for potential cooperation ahead of the elections.

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah began his official visit to the UK by meeting selected representatives from the British media.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met Minister of State for the Armed Forces The Right Honourable Mark Lancaster to convey his gratitude for UK’s support and sacrifices in Afghanistan. Threats posed by states using terrorism as tool to achieve foreign policy objectives were also discussed.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met with National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill to discuss Afghanistan’s security situation, the on-going peace process with the Taliban and regional economic interest in South-East Asia.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, discussing continued Afghanistan-UK bilateral cooperation in ensuring that gender equality is fully integrated in all peace and security efforts in Afghanistan.

 

Speaking at the University of Winchester, His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah highlighted the transformational power of education: “We see education as the key driver for human development, for the eradication of poverty and for building a pluralistic society in Afghanistan.”

 

In a productive sit-down with former UK Foreign Secretary The Right Honourable Boris Johnson, His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah discussed on-going preparations for the upcoming elections, the importance of continued regional cooperation in South-East Asia, as well as UK’s vital role in an Afghan-led peace process.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah thanked The Prince of Wales for his support for Turquoise Mountain, emphasising the importance of their work to regenerate historic Afghanistan in order to revive traditional crafts, to create jobs and to promote a renewed sense of national pride.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah thanked Secretary of State for International Development The Right Honourable Penny Mordaunt for DFID’s continued support to the Afghan people by aiding to provide Afghanistan with greater access to healthcare, to education and to safe drinking water. UK’s vital support to the Open Air Corridor was also discussed.

 

 

Participating in a roundtable Q&A at the historic London think-tank The Chatham House, His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah discussed the upcoming elections, regional stability, international support, and the path to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

 

His Excellency Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah met selected representatives from the Afghan diaspora in the UK, emphasising the importance of working together to create a better Afghanistan for the next generation.
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