Afghan president calls for self-sufficiency during development meeting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-05 19:21:04|Editor: ZD
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KABUL, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday reiterated his administration's stance to fight corruption, promote economic growth and take the militancy-plagued country towards self-sufficiency. "Democracy must be institutionalized. I have flagged the investments that we are making in building the foundations for a self-reliant Afghanistan."

"But as critical as economic growth, regional trade, and even domestic security may be there is one reform whose importance trumps all of them," Ghani told participants in Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) which opened in Afghan Presidential Palace on Thursday to discuss progress and achievements in the country's development and reform agenda.

"We took ownership of our responsibility to stop corruption. With your help, we established the anti-corruption Justice Center," Ghani said, adding that it was for the first time in the country's history that senior officials found guilty of corruption and had been jailed.

"The government will be accelerating private sector reform programs, and simplifying pro-investment regulations," he noted.

At the 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, the Afghan government and the international community agreed to conduct annual high-level meetings to discuss progress on Afghanistan's development and reform priorities.

The last such meeting, the Brussels Conference, was held in October last year in Belgium, where the donor countries pledged over 15 billion U.S. dollars in development aid for Afghans through 2020.

During his keynote speech, Ghani once again called on Taliban and other insurgent groups to renounce violence and join peace and national reconciliation process.

"We must advance the rule of law. The Constitution is our statement of values and of the national consensus for how disputes and disagreements get resolved without the use of arms and violence. Our Constitution defines our people's rights," he said.