H.E. Hamid Sidig
Ambassador and Extraordinary Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Germany
Greetings to the Conference from the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Germany
Dear Mme. Zepp-LaRouche, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues and friends:
I would like to express my gratitude and honor to be part of this important event. Over the past 30 years, the Schiller Institute has played a significant role in promoting international discussions on major topics, and has shaped the future of our world.
Since ancient times, the Silk Road has been a symbol of the commercial artery that connects Asia and Europe, creating wealth and cultural exchange to benefit all countries involved in this area. Our conference today hopes to build on this ancient tradition, by bringing together scientists and politicians to develop a New Silk Road and begin the process of healing and regenerating this very important region, Central Asia.
Our vision is to create a secure and peaceful life for our region, which will allow thousands of refugees to return back to their homes and rebuild their communities again. This conference shall take a look at the possibilities of how we can create such a future: a future based on economic, social, political, and cultural cooperation, that will bring stability and prosperity to Eurasia which is so desperately needed in this period of time.
We should not forget the most important issue of security, and the harboring of the elements that are destabilizing the entire region, I mean, those people are the factor of instability in this region, and those countries that are harboring terrorists and insurgents in the name of religion. Those countries should be recognized.
I believe that we should work to build an infrastructure and pathways to facilitate this vision, through trade and economy. On a practical level, we need to build new railroads, including high-speed train links, look at new sources of green and secure energy, explore new technologies and innovations, particularly in IT, to facilitate our success. And finally establish fair trade agreements, to compete in global markets.
Our ancestors, — auf Deutsch, unser Vorfahren — with their limited technology and standards, were able to sustain this trade important link for more than a millennium. Today, we should be capable, not only of rebuilding it, but of making it the economic and cultural highway for the next millennium. If we envision a better future today, together we can make it a reality for tomorrow and for the future.
I don’t want to make a long speech here, but at the end, I just want to make a remark about a very important issue in the recent period: Refugees. I come from a country, Afghanistan, that since the beginning of the ’80s, after the Soviet invasion, has become a country from which our young generation and families are leaving. And those people were educated, and Afghanistan needed them very badly.
Now, my question is to the international community: Why, despite all those billions of dollars of support and contributions from the United States, the European Union, from regional powers like China, India, and Qatar, why is Afghanistan still unquiet, and why is the young generation leaving the country? Even much worse compared to the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan!
During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the number of refugees coming to Germany was 46,000 in a period of the entire 10 years. Now, in the time of one and a half years, or a few months more, we have 185,000 Afghans in Germany alone! Is this not a point of question — what is the reason for this? Why is the young generation coming?
I experience every day, every day, hundreds of youths coming to us, coming to the Embassy and asking for new identification cards; so we are helping them. Also there are some people among them, it is boring for them here in Germany, and they want to go back; we give them a laissez passer.
But to the question I ask every single one of them, there’s only one answer: They leave Afghanistan, not because of poverty; they are not leaving Afghanistan because of a lack of work. They are leaving because of security. Parents sell their house and property, and give it to the band of the mafias, who are bringing their kids out of the country.
For more than 40 years, Afghanistan has been at war. The time of the Soviet Union is over. What is now? Since the Soviet departure from Afghanistan, how is it that we have not come to a normal life? I believe the international community closed their eyes, and does not want to see the reality of what is going on. Which countries are involved in harboring terrorists; which countries are creating madrassas for these terrorists? Which countries have the training camps? And which countries are giving weapons to these people and sending them to us?
Every day, under the name of Taliban and under the same of this and that, in Afghanistan hundreds of young people are losing their lives.
And last, where are these terrorists? Where does the international community find them? Everybody knows, but nobody tries to solve the problem in the region. Perhaps all the problems come on Afghanistan, why the people are running away. I hope that one day the international community will find a real solution, and a real reason why this is so.