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Transcript of the speeches of H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Signing Ceremony of the Chabahar Port

His Excellency Rouhani, His Excellency Modi,

First of all, on behalf of the government and people of Afghanistan, I express my thanks for your very good ceremony. Thank you for hosting this great reception and holding it in Tehran. Thank you Your Excellency Modi! From the first day we discussed our relations, Chabahar was one of its symbols and today we fulfill the word that we first uttered in Kathmandu; I applaud you for your commitment, vision and diligence.

Our past is a past of connections. Every city of Afghanistan had a roundabout and (at least) four gates; the gates that had been named after cities in Iran and India as symbols.

Today, I want to reiterate a few points, the vision, determination and message.

My vision is that Asia is in the process of transforming into an economic continental powerhouse and these great movements in Asia will bring about international stability and prosperity. Yet, Asia is still home to the poorest people in the world, and we, as elected leaders of these people, are obliged to fundamentally change the lives of the majority of people who live in poverty and deprivation.

Today, our decision is that geography is not destiny. Geography can change and (it is) determination that changes geography. Our determination today starts from Chabahar but its end will be an all-round and comprehensive economic and cultural development. Our determination will be actualized since this project will soon change to a joint and comprehensive corridor and route of connectivity.

Zaranj was a connecting hub and the capital of Rustam-going back to the days of Rustam. And today, once again Zaranj will be a high point of connectivity, not a backward place having gone through centuries of ravage. That is why, I thank India for its investment in construction of Zaranj-Delaram highway; I am also grateful to the Islamic Republic of Iran for building the Abreishum (Silk) Bridge. In the next (few) years, about 60 trillion dollar will be invested internationally in developing infrastructures and the bulk of it will take place in Asia.

Infrastructures need management and our determination is that that the infrastructures will be fundamentally and comprehensively managed.

In the end, what is the today’s message and the message of Chabahar?

First, the people of Afghanistan are grateful to the peoples and governments of India and Iran for believing in the stability and (prosperous) future of Afghanistan. The export of some in the region is terrorism; while our three countries export hope, trust and cooperation. At the same time, our message is that the entire region can connect and contribute to this joint cooperation; Central Asia, Europe and China- are all included in this vision and this is a shared determination. Also Russia is another component of this vision and can be a good economic partner to us. Our message to our youth is that our future is a future of economic cooperation, a future of shared understanding and exchange of technical knowledge and expertise. I once again thank His Excellency Rouhani and His Excellency Modi for this shared vision, determination and message.

A hundred years from now, I hope, that historians welcome this date as a turning point (in history) and remember it as the beginning of regional cooperation and joint actions for reaching comprehensive peace, stability and prosperity.

Thanks.

Source: Office of the President

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