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Afghanistan marks 40th year of ties with Korea
PEOPLE & EVENTS

Afghanistan marks 40th year of

ties with Korea

Ambassador Farman of Afghanistan (10th from left) poses with other ambassadors at the reception.

Ambassador and Mrs. Mohammad Yunos Farman of Afghanistan hosted a reception at Grand Hyatt Seoul on Oct. 2, 2013 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations with Korea.

It was one of the liveliest and pleasantest diplomatic functions of the year with various interesting events, including lucky drawers for attractive prizes.

There also were wonderful performances by Korean fan dancers, children’s choir and Afghan children in soccer sports uniforms.

There were many distinguished guests from Korean society and from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other segments of foreign community in Korea.

Attendance from the SDC and other segments of foreign community was also very large.

Among the guests in attendance were Ambassadors Tissa Wijeratne of Sri Lanka, Shaukat Ali Mukadam of Pakistan, Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Mohammad Yunos Farman of Afghanistan, Shri Vishnu Prakash of India, and Md. Enamul Kabir of Bangladesh.

Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Mohammad Yunos Farman of Afghanistan said in part: “Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973, Afghanistan and Korea have maintained mutual exchanges and made multifaceted efforts at the government level including providing assistance through international organizations to support the reconstruction efforts of the Afghanistan government.”

From the left, Second Secretary Ms. Prathma Purety of Nepal (on behalf of the Nepalese ambassador); Ambassadors Tissa Wijeratne of Sri Lanka, Shaukat Ali Mukadam of Pakistan and Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, a sponsor; and Ambassadors Mohammad Yunos Farman of Afghanistan, Shri Vishnu Prakash of India and Md. Enamul Kabir of Bangladesh; and Deputy Chief of the Mission Sayed Javed Hashimi of Afghanistan.

Excerpts from the speech follow:
I am very pleased to join you in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between (the Islamic Republic of) Afghanistan and (the Republic of) Korea.

Today we also gather together to commemorate the Independence Day of Afghanistan.

It is my great honor for me to deliver a congratulatory speech on behalf of the Korean government.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973, Afghanistan and Korea have maintained mutual exchanges and made multifaceted efforts at the government level including providing assistance through international organizations to support the reconstruction efforts of the Afghanistan government.

Mrs. Fahima Farman (spouse of the Afghan ambassador), fourth from right, front row, poses with the spouses of the other ambassadors who are behind them.
In particular, Korea formed the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in 2010 to join the rebuilding activities including the infrastructure development and welfare provision by being actively involved in major reconstruction missions for training and education, health care, rural development, police training, and governance.

It gave a great pleasure that we could help Afghanistan lay the foundation for supporting and governing themselves by constructing a vocational training center, education and cultural center, school, hospital, public health center, police training center, and a model farm.

Ambassador Farman of Afghanistan (second from right) announces the name of the winner of the lucky drawer with Mrs. Farman (right) and Senior Secretary Julie Eunsook Seo of the Afghan Embassy in Seoul (left).

Korea also plans to put forward feasibility studies for construction of Ibni Sina hospital and clean drinking water development in Barchi district of Kabul through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). I hope that these projects will be able to bear fruitful results.

As you are well aware, Korea also suffered from the war where all the infrastructures were destroyed. Therefore, Korea is the very country who understands the reality and challenges facing Afghanistan better than any country.

Korean fan dancers in performance

Korea achieved the rapid economic development dubbed as ‘Miracle of the Han River’ mainly by the government-led effort to expand its infrastructures as well as the assistance from the private sector.

I hope that sharing these experiences of Korea can provide a practical assistance for the Afghanistan government in vigorously building up the transport system which might serve as an essential foundation not only for its reconstruction effort, but also for securing the mobility of its people and economic development.

I was also told that H.E. Vice President Karim Khalili and H.E. Daoud Najafi, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation experienced the public transport system in Korea during their visit to Korea last February and decided to use Korea as a role model in establishing its own public transport system.

▲Children's choir presents songs.

Under the same spirit, H.E. Daoud Najafi, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation and H.E. Suh Seoung-hwan signed the MOU on the cooperation in the field of transport on July 4th this year.

I expect that this MOU will serve as not only a symbol of bilateral cooperation in the transport infrastructure development, but also a valuable opportunity to bear fruits by promoting bilateral cooperation in wider areas of transport including public transport.

The Korean government hopes to move forward a brighter future in peace and prosperity with our 40 years of valued friend Afghanistan by sharing our experiences of reconstruction and economic development as well as strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Once again, I would like to congratulate on the 40th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Korea, and the Independence Day of Afghanistan. Thank you very much.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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