Chairman of Afghan Parliament holds talks with Norwegian Legislators and Authorities
Press release attributable to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Oslo, April 2nd, 2009
His Excellency Mohammad Younis Qanouni, Chairperson of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, heading a parliamentary delegation, held talks with His Excellency Thorbjørn Jagland, the President of Stortinget (Parliament of Norway), attended the opening session of Stortinget from the guest gallery, received briefing on Constitutional and Administrative matters by His Excellency Hans Brattesta, Secretary General of Stortinget, held talks with the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliament and had a meeting with Her Excellency Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, the Minister of Defence of Norway on April 1st, 2009.
At the meetings, Mr. Qanouni expressed delight about the close ties between the governments of Afghanistan and Norway and added that the relations between the parliaments of the two countries should also grow. As an example, he mentioned the formation of a parliamentary friendship group. He also invited Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland to visit Afghanistan, which was accepted with thanks.
Regarding the fight against terrorism, Mr. Qanouni emphasized the regional dimension of the issue, and stressed that Pakistan could play a more effective role in this respect. He stressed on the international commitment to Afghanistan in the long run and said it was most important, because the terrorists strive to destabilize Afghanistan and force the international troops out of it, and turn Afghanistan into a capital of terrorism. He said that it must not be allowed because the security of Afghanistan is tied with the security of Norway and entire world.
Speaking about the upcoming elections he mentioned security and transparency as challenges lying ahead. He said, to maintain a secure environment for the voters to take part in ballot, the government of Afghanistan needs assistance and to ensure transparency, among others, Norway should send election observers to Afghanistan.
He also responded in various meetings to confirm the recent passage of Shia Family Law by the Parliament of Afghanistan which was later signed by His Excellency Hamid Karzai, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, noting that the final version of the law did in fact take the issue of human rights and the rights of women into full account and the reports in this regard were largely exaggerated.
The delegation included Sardar Rahman Oghuli, Member of Parliament, from Faryab Province, where the Norwegian troops are stationed. He thanked the Norwegian government and people for the deployment of Norwegian soldiers in his home province and said that the people of that province were happy for the assistance provided by the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in that province. On behalf of the people in Faryab, he assured that they would not allow any elements to harm the Norwegian PRT. He thanked Norway for helping the education and health systems, but noted that there was a shortage of drinking water in that province. He also requested the construction of a sports stadium in the province that would provide the youth opportunities to engage in constructive activities.
Embassy of Afghanistan in Norway, Oslo
Accredited to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland