U.S. Official Speeches and Interviews
Remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta at the U.S. Embassy September 11 Commemoration Ceremony
Septempber 11, 2009 | Kabul, Afghanistan
Excellency Ambassador Eikenberry, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a matter of utmost honor for me to have the opportunity to commemorate the 8th anniversary of this tragic day of September 11th at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
As a nation that has endured three decades of violence and suffering, we Afghans can easily identify with the pain and sorrow of the American people. That unforgettable day bounded Afghan and American people as victims of one common enemy.
9/11, which saw the cold-blooded murder of over three thousand innocent souls from more than 90 nations, has transformed many nations and individuals, including Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has been transformed from a safe haven for international terrorism and being ruled by a totalitarian ideology to an active and important partner of the international community’s struggle against terrorism and a young and emerging democracy.
Thanks to the sacrifices of American people, particularly its courageous soldiers, Afghanistan and the United States have now forged a strategic partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 8th anniversary of 9/11 has coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Second World War. I can see many similarities between these two global struggles. As with the Third Reich and its totalitarian ideology, al Qaeda and Talibanization equally threaten the world’s peace and stability.
As with the appeasement, isolationist and defeatist tendencies of Europe prior to the Second World War, unfortunately, there are voices who advocate retreat, disengagement and submission.
As with the Second World War, the U.S.’s leadership and stance will determine the fate of our global struggle against the evils of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. This struggle is for the soul of the Islamic world. Our success or failure in Afghanistan will make all the difference to the outcome of this global struggle.
I have full faith and confidence in the U.S. to remain steadfast amid growing difficulties and doubts. As with the Second World War, in which the U.S. proved to the world that the “U.S. is indeed the great arsenal of democracy,” in the worlds of President Roosevelt, as an Afghan democrat, I am absolutely sure that the U.S. will not abandon our young and emerging democracy.
As with Germany and Japan, a stable, prosperous, progressive and democratic Afghanistan can emerge with the right strategy, adequate resources and, more importantly, patience and steadfastness. Such an Afghanistan will be an inspiring example for the Islamic world and a catalyst for regional cooperation.
Allow me to conclude my remarks with another quotation from President Roosevelt from his historic speech.
“We have no excuse for defeatism. We have every good reason for hope, hope for peace, hope for the defense of our civilization and for the building of a better civilization in the future.”
I thank you.