Message from the Ambassador, February 2009

Dear reader,

Updated: (2.01.2009)

This issue of the Nyhetsbrev comes to you at the end of an eventful month for Afghanistan. The highlights of the month include the proud moment of the Afghan National Cricket team reaching qualification rounds for the 2011 Cricket World Cup as well as the appointments of several high profile special envoys to Afghanistan by the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Germany and, of course, Sweden. These appointments have been an affirmation of the commitment of the international community to Afghanistan.

The American envoy, Richard Holbrooke’s visit to Afghanistan and the region was a positive beginning of President Barack Obama's administration’s renewed engagement in Afghanistan and the wider region. In this issue, you can read about President Karzai’s meeting with Ambassador Holbrooke in Kabul.

The challenge of terrorism was highlighted once again during February by an organised, 'Mumbai style' attack by a group of terrorists on three government buildings in Kabul. However, the timely and effective handling of the terrorist attack by the Afghan security forces was a very positive sign of the increasing capability and professionalism of our security institutions. This bodes well for the long-term stabilisation of Afghanistan.

While the news in the security area, and the high profile visits to Afghanistan, were well covered by media this month, much of the developments in the country took place largely unnoticed. In this newsletter you will read about one such progress story concerning Afghanistan's rural development.

The other good news is the successful progression of the voter registration process throughout Afghanistan, including the areas affected by insecurity. Four million new voters have been registered, paving the way for the next elections in the country later this year.

And finally, the New Year 1388 is just around the corner, and I wish all Afghans, wherever they are, a Happy Nawroz. I hope that the coming year brings more opportunities for a better, more peaceful, more prosperous life for our people.

Jawed Ludin

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Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Oslo
Gange-Rolvs gate 5  -  0244 Oslo  -  Norway  -  Phone: + 47 22 12 35 70

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