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Tourism encourages people to people interaction & enhances regional peace, Mostafavi

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Tourism encourages people to people interaction & enhances regional peace, Mostafavi
 KABUL: Tourism ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gathered in Dhaka here yesterday to talk about tourism potentials among 57-member states as well as to discuss ways to contribute better to their economies.
The theme of the conference which will be held from Feb 5 to 7 is‘Enhancing Regional Integration through Tourism’.
High level representatives including 15 tourism ministers of nearly 30 OIC member states have joined the conference held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city, where representing Afghanistan, Prof. Sayeda Mojgan Mostafavi deputy minister of tourism, finance and administration of Ministry of Information and culture has attended the meeting.
Delivering her remarks, Prof. Mostafavi said that “we all know holding of such meetings is indeed an important step for joint harmony and cooperation among member nations.”
The deputy minister went on saying that the framework offered by OIC for joint efforts and cooperation towards growth of tourism of Muslim countries can help the member countries as an important mean in the course of continued development. ”Meanwhile tourism administration of Afghanistan is determined to cooperate with friendlycountries for implementation of this framework and for reaching the goals of action programs of OIC-2015 through serious of efforts.”
Prof. Mostafavi added that with having unique geo-politics and geo-strategic, geography of Afghanistan as the cradle of historical ancient human civilizations, the, visiting and studying of its archeological and historical riches, provides opportunities for acquaintance of today’s human societies with part of history, culture and permanent human heritage. 
She said as part of historical Silk Route,  Afghanistan was the focal and linking point of world great civilizations, such as Aryans, Buddhist, Mesopotamia and India and one of important commercial center of ancient time as Balkh, Ghazni and Herat commemorated as the bezel of Islamic cities.
The deputy minister went on saying that tourism in Afghanistan was at its glorious best in the past many tourists visited Afghanistan from all over the world to see the unique beauty of the Country and experience the treat of one of the most hospitable group of people. 
“Unfortunately, two Buddha statues that were one of the unique heritages of Buddhism civilization in Bamyan of Afghanistan was damaged,” she told the conference.
MoIC’s deputy minister said upon inauguration of the new government in 2001 that was based on democracy and convergence, efforts were made revive tourism industry in the country. ”Despite efforts made, with continuation of skirmishes stem from war of terrorists in the country and securityproblems, the industry of tourism was faced with challenges that prevented its expansion and development.”
She said that with formation of national unity government, efforts were made as an exceptional opportunity for the growth of economy and increment of employment, adding codification of Tourism National Policy placed as working priority of tourism administration of Afghanistan that would be executed after ratification of its draft and processing as an official document.
“Similarly, considering strategic roadmap for development of tourism in Islamic countries, we are trying to turn Afghanistan once again as one of tourism sites for the world people especially for Islamic countries,” she said.
Furthermore, to assist the Tourism Industry of Afghanistan, the Government of Afghanistan, the ministry of information and culture working hard and strongly encourages and offers its full support to the private sector to invest into the Tourism Industry, Prof. Mostafavi added, saying with ever increasing global tourism, the Afghan Tourist Industry has tremendous potential to become profitable.
“Tourism is an industry which encourages people to people interaction and enhances regional peace. The understanding among people that travel, and tourism bring about is the best recipe for ensuring that conflicts are resolved through discussion and compromise, rather than through violent means,” she added, saying Poverty alleviation and removing the root causes that drive terrorism are both possible through the generation of understanding that can be gained through tourism. “We are trying to have our country being called as the cross road of tourism in the region, as it was historically remembered as the cross road of civilization and the heart of Asia. 
This is not possible sans our own effort and endeavors with using experiences, assistance and cooperation of friendly countries,” Mostafavi concluded.