DUSHANBE, April 28, 2011, Asia-Plus -- An international two-day conference entitled “Central Asian Stakes in Afghanistan’s Stabilization Process” opened in Dushanbe today.

Organized by the NGO Vector-Intellect with support from international organizations, the conference brought together researchers and senior representatives from diplomatic missions and international organizations active in Tajikistan to discuss regional stakes in stabilizing Afghanistan.

Inaugurating the conference, the Ambassador of France to Tajikistan Henry Zipper de Fabiani pointed out the importance of regional and international stakes in Afghanistan’s stabilization process.  “We understand that is very difficult to asses the current situation in Afghanistan and face the future confidently,” French diplomat noted.  

In his report delivered at the conference, Afghan student Naveed Ahmad expressed gratitude to international community for efforts it has taken to stabilize the war-torn country and noted that “it would be better if Western military personnel leave Afghanistan.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Ken Gross noted that international collation forces were currently assisting the Afghan side through providing uniform, training and technical assistance in order to ensure that the Afghan government assumes full control over security in the country.  “We are ready to leave Afghanistan,” Ambassador Gross said, noting that the security situation in Afghanistan is improving.  “I understand that nobody want to see foreign soldiers on their soil,” the U.S. diplomat added.   

In the meantime, a senior expert from the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, Khudoberdi Kholiqnazarov, noted that NATO troops would not withdraw from Afghanistan even by 2014, timeline for the withdrawing NATO troops from Afghanistan and handing over security responsibilities to Afghan forces.

One of conference participants, Mr. Alexander Zouev, new UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan, said in an interview with Asia-Plus that economic development, strengthening of human rights platform and development of community-level socioeconomic conditions were a guarantee of stability in any country, including Afghanistan.