Mahmoud Saikal, permanent representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations (UN), speaks during an interview in New York, the United States, March 21, 2017. The notion of "creating a community of shared future for mankind" is "very relevant" to Afghanistan and the region, said Mahmoud Saikal. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
by Ni Hongmei
NEW YORK, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The notion of "creating a community of shared future for mankind" is "very relevant" to Afghanistan and the region, said Mahmoud Saikal, permanent representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday.
The UN Security Council adopted unanimously a resolution last week to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), seeking to promote security and stability in Afghanistan and the region "to create a community of shared future for mankind." The notion for the first time was written into a UN Security Council resolution.
"It has to do with peace, security, stability, equality, human rights, development and also making sure we have a clean world. All of them are very relevant to Afghanistan," the envoy said in a joint interview with Xinhua and China Central Television.
Afghanistan is facing extremism and terrorism threats and is "in desperate need for peace," he said.
"Peace can only come through dialogue. So we welcome that. We believe the view of President Xi Jinping is very relevant to the life of our country," the ambassador said, adding that collective efforts are needed in addressing global threats.
"When it comes to prosperity, definitely we need to focus on win-win cooperation. Wherever we can, we need to assist each other. Wherever both of us win, we should step forward," he said, adding the world also needs to push for green development together.
"So, as you can see, all of them are relevant to the life of Afghanistan, to life of our region, to the planet Earth," he concluded.
CONNECTIVITY CRUCIAL TO AFGHANISTAN
"As a landlocked country, connectivity for Afghanistan is crucial," said Saikal. "When it comes to the connectivity of Afghanistan with the region, definitely, One Belt One Road plays a key role."
China's Belt and Road Initiative was also included in the UN resolution, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
Afghanistan and China has been cooperating under the initiative in a number of projects. In July 2016, direct flights between the Afghan capital Kabul and Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was resumed.
In September 2016, the first cargo train from China arrives in a northern Afghan port. "That's a good sign of connectivity," said Saikal, noting that the cargo train has facilitated both imports and exports for the country. The two countries are also working on railway project, infrastructure plans under the initiative.
"The vision of connecting the region and connecting China with the Eurasia region, is something that is good for China, good for us, good for the region and good for our world. So this is why we work on that," he said.
Meanwhile, he emphasized that security is a key factor in achieving success of such connectivity projects.
"Afghanistan has been compared as the heart of Asia. If the heart does not beat, Asia will not beat," he said, noting that it is very important to secure the region for the success of Belt and Road Initiative.
"We must address the root cause of conflict, as well as that of extremism and terrorism," he stressed.
On the renewal of UNAMA's mandate until March 17, 2018, the ambassador said that "Afghanistan is in need for peace, stability and security. The United Nations as a whole and UNAMA in particular can play a role in facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan."
"The terrorist threat to Afghanistan is a global threat and it's got regional roots. So we have to deal with this collectively. UNAMA can definitely play a role in bringing peace to Afghanistan," he said, noting the political mission can also support the reform of Afghanistan's upcoming parliamentary election.