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Political Counselor Aziz Discusses Afghanistan and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute

The Embassy of Afghanistan’s Political Counselor Masood Aziz was invited to lecture on Afghanistan and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute on June 12. Mr. Aziz presented Afghanistan as vital to the development of Central Asia and the greater Central and South Asia areas. The centrality of Afghanistan was discussed and Mr. Aziz demonstrated that Afghanistan is now able to link the important areas of Central Asia to South Asia and to facilitate an unprecedented growth in the region for the betterment of the regions prosperity and stability.

Mr. Aziz described the challenges that the Central Asia region face today. This includes, issues of ethnicity, conflict and terrorism, the illicit drug trade and issued related to migration flows. At the same time, Mr. Aziz offered Afghanistan as potentially a bright hope for the region, describing how Afghanistan functions at the very heart of this region. The emergence of a free, stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan is a unique opportunity not only for the people of the area, but for the entire world.  This is the first time in hundreds of years, that there is the very real prospect of establishing strong economic, political and social ties that extend across this vast region.  An economically integrated regional market, with Afghanistan as the pivot point, would include nearly half the world’s population, a substantial share of the world’s energy supplies and provide a foundation a strong and sustainable economic, political and social  pursuit of prosperity and stability for the region.

A question and answer session ensued from a large audience of State Department diplomats on their way to serving in the region, with a relatively large group on their way to Afghanistan.

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