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President Mamnoon Hussain paid a one-day visit to Kabul to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Afghanistan’s new President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. The ceremony was attended by leaders, ministers and special envoys from a large number of countries in the region and beyond.

During his stay in Kabul, the President had a bilateral meeting with President Ashraf Ghani. Separately, the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah called on the President. During these meetings, matters relating to the political transition in Afghanistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, and regional cooperation were discussed.

President Mamnoon Hussain conveyed the warmest felicitations of the government and people of Pakistan to the brotherly Afghan people and leadership on the historic peaceful transfer of power from one elected President to another elected President. The President extended best wishes to the national unity government in the accomplishment of its wide-ranging agenda and conveyed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with the new government for the promotion of common goals.

The President reaffirmed that peace and stability in Afghanistan were in Pakistan’s vital interest. Highlighting the vision of a “peaceful neighbourhood”, the President stressed the importance Pakistan attached to friendly and good-neighborly relations with Afghanistan. He underscored that both countries must work closely to address common challenges and to realize the vast opportunities existing in diverse fields for mutually-beneficial cooperation. The President particularly emphasized the importance of a deeper economic relationship and enhanced people-to-people exchanges.

The Afghan leadership thanked President Mamnoon Hussain for his participation in the swearing-in ceremony. Underlining the importance Afghanistan attached to its relations with Pakistan, President Ashraf Ghani reiterated his perspective that both countries should have a “special relationship.” CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also expressed the desire of the new government to forge a cooperative and forward-looking relationship with Pakistan.

The two sides underscored their mutual desire for a relationship marked by trust and understanding, serving the best interests of the two nations. They agreed on substantive and sustained engagement at multiple levels to advance the shared goals of peace and stability, economic development, and regional cooperation.

The President’s visit to Kabul on this landmark occasion reinforced Pakistan’s support for peaceful democratic transition in Afghanistan and contributed to further strengthening fraternal ties between the two countries.

29 September 2014

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