Press statement attributable to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Oslo, April 3rd, 2009
His Excellency Mohammad Younis Qanouni, Chairperson of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, heading a parliamentary delegation, had audience with His Majesty King Harald V, held talks with His Excellency Jonas Gahr Støre, and delivered a speech at a seminar organized by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs on April 2nd, 2009.
His Majesty King Harald V, welcomed Mr. Qanouni and his delegation to Norway and hoped that the visit would contribute to further strengthening the relations between Norway and Afghanistan.
Mr. Qanouni, in turn, thanked Norway for its generous support and contribution to Afghanistan and said Norway was important for Afghanistan.
At other meetings and his speech at NUPI, Mr. Qanouni addressed several issues. Regarding the reconciliation process of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with Taliban, he emphasized that it was important and needed, however it had to be done within the framework of the constitution of Afghanistan and not from a position of weakness. He said that regarding the irreconcilable elements of Taliban, the only way to succeed was to fight them.
Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre spoke of his attendance at the Hague conference and said the important thing there was the international community’s long term commitment to Afghanistan and the emphasis of the regional dimension of the war against terrorism.
Speaking about the new US strategy, he said that Norway had appointed a representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan who would work closely with Ambassador Holbrooke and that Norway would contribute to the common strategy for Afghanistan and in this context would emphasize the importance of state building in the fight against terror and will pay more attention to strengthening the security institutions in Afghanistan.
He said that however the international community would like the Afghan government to follow its responsibilities. He expressed concern over the passage of Shia Family Law and said that it was seen as restricting the rights of women.
Norwegian Foreign Minister said that Norway supported the election process and wished that the stability would remain the most important consideration for all political parties. At the end the Foreign Minister reiterated commitment to continuing to remain in the Province of Faryab and thanked the chairperson of the parliament for his cooperation and advice in Kabul.
For immediate release
Embassy of Afghanistan in Norway, Oslo
Accredited to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland
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