Sat, Oct

Foreign minister-designate to review policy goals



The foreign minister-designate on Tuesday told lawmakers if endorsed, he would review principles of foreign policy and ensure sending it to parliament for approval.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani introduced 24-member council of minister and heads of two independent departments last Tuesday to parliament for a vote of trust.Earlier, Salahuddin Rabbani’s nomination was rejected by a parliamentary panel for dual citizenship. But he was allowed to explain his programmes after it he gave up his British nationality.Rabbani said a document had been drafted over the last few years in the ministry outlining the country’s foreign policy and it would be his priority to review it for further improvement.“I think we should pursue three goals in our foreign policy: national security goals with a regional consensus to fight terrorism and illicit drug production; more importance to our economic interests; and establishing a firm regional and global foothold for Afghanistan,” he remarked.Rabbani said Afghanistan is an inseparable part of Islamic and Asian nations and he would try to bolster its image in the region. “We can’t choose our neighbors, but with constructive diplomacy we can change their behavior towards us.”Terrorism and narcotics, he reiterated were main national and regional challenges and the menace could be tackled with strong coordination with regional and global players.“I will intensify fight against the scourge of terrorism and drugs by forming regional alliance with our neighbors,” he remarked.Close coordination and enhanced relations with the regional organizations, he said, was vital to ensure peace and stability. He pledged to evaluate the administrative structure of the ministry and embassies abroad and follow reforms.Salahuddin Rabbani is a son of former president Burhanuddin Rabbni and was born in Kabul city. He is from Badakhshan and is ethnic Tajik.He received his bachelor degree in petroleum and mines marketing from Saudi Arabia and master in International Relations from Columbia University in New York. He also served as Afghanistan’s ambassador to Turkey and head of peace council as well.