Tokyo: Backing India’s concerns over terrorist safe havens in the AfPak region, the Tokyo conference of international donors on Afghanistan Sunday endorsed key recommendations of a regional conclave that New Delhi hosted to promote direct investment in the troubled country.
The Tokyo Declaration, adopted at the end of the day-long conference on Afghanistan attended by participants, including External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recognized that “the main threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability comes from terrorism and that this threat also endangers regional and international peace and security”. The participants “recognized the regional dimensions of terrorism and extremism, including terrorist safe havens, and emphasized the need for sincere and result-oriented regional and international cooperation towards a region free from terrorism in order to secure Afghanistan and safeguard the region and the world against the terrorist threat”.
The donor countries also determined “never to allow Afghanistan to become a sanctuary for international terrorism again”.
The Tokyo declaration reflected India’s oft repeated concern over terrorism emanating from across Afghanistan’s borders, which was expressed by Krishna in his address at the conclave.
Krishna, in a veiled reference to Pakistan, told the international community of the “existential threat” Afghanistan faces from terrorism emanating from across its borders. He said Afghanistan is fighting this threat “every day, and that it is ill equipped to repel in the absence of substantial assistance from the international community”.
The Tokyo conference took note of the importance of regional integration in stabilising Afghanistan and the India-led initiative for promoting the revival of the Afghan economy through private and foreign investment.
The meet “welcomed the results of the Delhi Investors’ Summit on Afghanistan hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry on June 28 in Delhi”, which had many participants from neighboring countries “and underscored the importance of implementing the recommendations of the summit”. “The Participants reaffirmed the significance of risk mitigation and credit provision schemes by the International Community in promoting private sector investment in Afghanistan. The International Community committed to taking concrete steps to promote private investment and trade by mobilizing relevant development finance institutions, export credit authorities, and other governmental and nongovernmental tools to encourage human and financial capital investments in Afghanistan.”
Krishna, in his address, called for indigenisation of foreign aid to Afghanistan and asked the international community to avoid the temptation to set “conditionalities” on such assistance as major donors pledged $16 billion in aid to stabilize the violence-beset country.
“It is this perspective that should animate our thinking when we commit to Afghanistan longterm future today. This perspective should not only determine the quantum of resources that we commit to Afghanistan, it should also temper the kind of conditionalities that are attached to assistance,” he said amid aid fatigue in the international community.
Representatives from around 80 countries and international aid groups, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, gathered here to discuss aid for Afghanistan beyond 2014, when US-led international troops are expected to leave Afghanistan.
Major donors pledged to give Afghanistan $16 billion in development aid over the next four years to prevent instability and chaos that may follow after foreign troops leave that country.