Karzai makes pitch for investment, peace


KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has urged Qatari entrepreneurs to exploit the opportunities offered by his administration and invest in Afghanistan, his office said on Sunday.

In his interaction with Qatari traders, Karzai made a pitch for investments by businessmen from the oil-rich Gulf state, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.

At the meeting chaired by Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah bin Thani, head of the state chamber of commerce, president Karzai said: “I have come from a country which is not so far away. Afghanistan offers good opportunities and resources, which it can share with you.”

He dangled opportunities of investment in Afghanistan’s mining, housing, reconstruction, energy, tourism and banking sectors. The country’s future was secure because of the strategic partnership agreements it had signed with the US and several other countries including China, India and Russia.

China had invested $4.5 billion in the largest copper mine of Afghanistan, while India is putting id="mce_marker"1b in the same sector, the president explained. He called on Qataris to make use the chances.

Abdullah bin Thani welcomed President Karzai, praising the investment incentives in Afghanistan. Qatari investors were eager to utilise the chances, he added.

A Qatari team would visit Afghanistan to assess the environment before economic experts explored investment possibilities there.

Addressing a gathering of Afghans in Doha, the president said his government and people wanted peace and respect for the country’s sovereignty. He stressed the achievements of the past decade should be preserved.

During his two-day state visit, he will meet Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for talks on opening of a Taliban office in Doha and a Qatari embassy in Kabul.

At meetings with Afghan scholars, elders, businessmen and youth in the Gulf country, he said the Afghans had sacrificed a lot to achieve peace and stability.

“To bring peace to the country, we will do all we can,” the president promised, urging the Taliban to renounce the insurgency and return to the country.

He argued war was no solution and the problem should be settled through negotiations, because God likes peace and brotherhood.

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