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Gen. Mohamed receives Afghan President

General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed receives Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadza, President of Afghanistan, in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. (Wam)

By Wam

General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Tuesday received Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President of Afghanistan, at Al Mushrif Palace.
Upon the Afghani President's arrival, an official reception ceremony was held in the courtyard where  General Sheikh Mohamed and President Ahmadzai stood on a raised platform while the UAE and Afghani national anthems were played. A 21-gun salute was also fired in honour of the guest.
Following the ceremony, Sheikh Mohamed accompanied the Afghani President to the main hall of the palace, where the Crown Prince shook hands with senior officials from the Afghani delegation while President Ahmadzai shook hands with the welcoming Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials.
As he welcomed the Afghani President, Sheikh Mohamed expressed the hope that the visit would contribute towards further enhancement of ties of friendship and cooperation between the UAE and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The meeting discussed best ways to bolster bilateral ties in economic, developmental and social fields so as to realise the aspirations of the two friendly countries and people.
The Afghani President updated Sheikh Mohamed on efforts being made by his government to achieve development, build national institutions as well as future development plans. He also spoke about the role of the international community in assisting and supporting  Afghanistan's efforts to bring about security and political and economic stability.
The two parties also reviewed the UAE's role in supporting efforts for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, health, educational and infrastructure projects as well as its contribution in maintaining security and stability. Coordination between the two countries on issues of common concern, notably combating violence, extremism and terrorism, was also discussed.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi emphasised that the UAE, led by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, always stands besides the friendly Afghani people to provide them with all kinds of assistance and support. He said that the UAE had stood with Afghanistan from the early stages of the crises it passed through and would remain committed to its humanitarian stance until the Afghani people tide over these tremendous challenges and difficult circumstances.
Sheikh Mohamed wished the Afghani President success in his efforts to lead Afghanistan out of its historic crisis and open a new chapter full of stability and prosperity.
Sheikh Mohamed added that the directives of the UAE President to provide all kinds of assistance to Afghanistan, mainly in social and development sectors, had strengthened the channels of communication between the two countries, making it a bright role model in cooperation and partnership in implementation of diverse humanitarian services and social programmes, which benefit all segments of the Afghani community, including children and the underprivileged, particularly in health and education field.
During their meeting, the Afghani President extended thanks to the UAE for its continuous and supportive role and initiatives for Afghanistan, as well as the aid provided by the UAE to support a number of vital sectors, such as education, health, social welfare, culture and infrastructure.

He also praised the attention given by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his keenness in providing support and assistance to underprivileged people in countries across the world, particularly Afghanistan, which has been affected by wars, violence and terrorism.

Additionally, the President expressed his happiness in visiting the UAE, which has distinguished and strong relations with Afghanistan, stressing his country's desire to expand their joint cooperation, especially in the economic and investment fields.

Further, the Afghani President underscored his country's enthusiasm to benefit from the Emirati’s sophisticated expertise and potentials in the field of developing vital sectors in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the parties tackled the latest developments in the regional and international arenas and exchange views on a number of issues of mutual interest.

Later, Sheikh Mohamed hosted a luncheon in honour of the Afghani President and his accompanying delegation.

The meeting and the luncheon were attended by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and head of the honourary mission accompanying the Afghani President, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs and a number of senior officials.

AfghanI officials in attendance included Ahmad Zia Massoud, Special Representative of the President on reform and good governance, Engineer Mohammad Khan, first deputy of the Chief Executive Officer, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, National Security Advisor, Omar Zakhilwal, Economic Affairs Advisor, Abdul Salam Rahimi, the head of the Office of Administrative Affairs at the Presidential Palace, Atiqullah Atefmal, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mustafa Mastoor, Afghanistan's acting Finance Minister, Masoom Stanikzai, head of the High Peace Council Secretariat and Dr. Najibullah Mojadidi, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UAE.