The State Department was pleased to welcome Afghan Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani to Washington, D.C. March 1-2 for meetings with a number of Administration officials, including U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake, Jr., and the Secretary’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Richard Morningstar.
In his meetings at the Department of State, Minister Shahrani described recent progress in attracting international investment to develop Afghanistan’s extractive resources as well as Afghanistan’s engagement with its neighbors to advance the New Silk Road vision, including the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Minister Shahrani noted steps that the Government of Afghanistan is taking to ensure the process of awarding contracts and the management of revenue is transparent, consistent with international best practices, and for the benefit of the Afghan people. Ambassador Grossman reiterated U.S. support for the Government of Afghanistan’s continuing reform efforts intended to promote sustainable growth and spur private sector investment, especially in key sectors such as mining.
Minister Shahrani and State Department officials also discussed their plans to attend the upcoming Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, to be hosted by the Government of Tajikistan from March 26-27, which will be an occasion for the countries of the region to discuss continued economic integration along the New Silk Road.
An accompanying photo can be found here.