By- Ahmadshah Ghanizada- Deliberations of the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit began in the State of Kuwait today under the auspices of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jabir al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait with participation of 32 Asian countries and a number of officials of the regional and international organizations.
The first Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) also congratulated and welcomed the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as a new member of the Forum.
President Hamid Karzai thanked His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and all ACD member states on their constant support for Afghanistan to become a member of the ACD Forum.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai quoted in a statement released by Presidential Palace media office said, “Afghanistan believes that it was an excellent initiative by the Kingdom of Thailand to launch in 2002 the Asian Cooperation Dialogue, as a continental forum for integrating all aspects of Asia’s strengths and transforming the vast continent into a desirable unified community.”
The source further added, President Karzai applauded the proposal by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, to establish the ACD Trust Fund of 2 billion $ for the development efforts in the least developed Asian countries and his announcement to contribute 300 million dollars towards the target amount of 2 billion USD.
President Karzai hoped that other member states would also generously contribute to the Trust Fund for the good of the entire continent.
he noted, Afghanistan respects the core principles of the ACD, namely positive thinking; informality; voluntarism; openness and respect for diversity.
President Karzai said, “We believe that ACD provides a unique opportunity to discuss and engage in sincere and result-oriented dialogue with a view to addressing the peace, security and development challenges that confront us all in different ways. This Forum can enable us to further strengthen peaceful co-existence among cultures and civilizations in our continent.”
He also added, “I am fully confident that our membership in this very important Asian Cooperation Dialogue will further provide the opportunity to better strengthen our regional cooperation for the well being of our continent and beyond.”
At the summit, leaders of the ACD member states congratulated President Karzai on membership of Afghanistan to the ACD and described its affiliation with the Forum as beneficial.
The two-day ACD summit opened in the Kuwaiti capital on Tuesday. Major Asian countries, including China, Japan, and India, as well as the members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) are attending the summit.
Founded in Thailand in 2002, the ACD has 32 members including China, Japan, India and South Korea in addition to major oil producers in the Gulf, Iran and Russia.