A bilateral youth forum of Russian and Afghan youth ended at the Gorchakov Fund

23 December 2019

December 23, 2019 was a final day of the Russian-Afghan Youth Forum at the Gorchakov Fund. 50 young professionals and experts from the two countries attended the forum.

The participants were welcomed by Executive Director of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund Leonid Drachevsky. He mentioned that in 2019 diplomatic relations between the two countries had marked their 100th anniversary. Cooperation with Russia provided support to peace efforts in the region and establishing of sovereignty of the young Afghan state. There were complicated periods in the relations between Russia and Afghanistan. According to Leonid Drachevsky, what makes us happy is that there are no after-pains left in the memory about the years of the war, but we are trying to search for common grounds while understanding the difficulties that face Afghanistan. We are ready to listen to and hear each other.

Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs of Russia (Rosmolodezh) Alexander Bugayev called international cooperation one of the key areas of work for his agency. According to him, a productive relationship has been established with the Afghan youth and a meaningful partnership is being built. Head of Rosmolodezh invited the colleagues from Afghanistan to participate in large-scale forums, which will take place in Russia in 2020, in particular, the forum of young leaders of SCO and BRICS. Alexander Bugayev hopes that the Afghan partners will attend the events dedicated to the 75th Victory anniversary.

Deputy Director of the Second Asian Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Dmitry Kabayev said that the Russian-Afghan forum served as a great example of the current public diplomacy. Such meetings can strengthen friendly relations and mutual connections between our countries. According to the diplomat, presently Russia is supporting Afghanistan as a modern successful state free of threats of international terrorism and drug crimes. Moscow is ready to help with the launch of the inter-Afghan peace dialogue and believes that all conflicts in that country can be resolved exclusively in a peaceful way. “We believe that the new page in the history of Afghanistan will also be opened with your hands”, Dmitry Kabayev addressed the attendees of the forum.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Latif Bahand was confident that such conferences helped to strengthen relations between Moscow and Kabul. According to him, currently these relations are not on the level where we wish them to be. At the same time, the Afghan leadership, the president of the republic keep emphasizing the role of Russia in restoration of peace on the Afghan land. The diplomat stressed that the ties between societies of the two countries should not be broken. He asked the Gorchakov Fund to continue promoting such youth dialogue in the future.

Following the welcome addresses the attendees took part in panel discussion “The Role of Russian-Afghan Relations in the Security Architecture of Central Asia”.

The Russian-Afghan Youth Forum AFRUS2019 is a project of postgraduate student from Russian State Social University Akifi Akhmad Khaibar, who was selected as a winner of the grant competition organized by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund on the sidelines of International Forum “Eurasia Global” in August of 2019. Partners of the projects are Future Team Afghanistan, Sputnik News Agency, South-Western State University, and the Embassy of Afghanistan in Russia.

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