Dr. Zalmai Rasoul Thanks Finland for Support for Afghanistan

Press release attributable to the Embassy of Afghanistan to the Nordic Countries.
Oslo, February 3rd, 2009.

Updated: (2.04.2009)

Oslo, Norway

The National Security Adviser of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr Zalmai Rasoul, travelled to the Republic of Finland yesterday, February 2nd, to hold meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alexander Stubb, State Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Esko Hamilo and State Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Mr. Markus Lyra.

At the meetings, Dr Rasoul thanked the Finnish people and government for their support for the people of Afghanistan provided over the past years. Elaborating on the developments in Afghanistan he said, even though the security situation was challenging, the reality on the ground was better than what is widely portrayed in the media. He said that three quarters of the country was currently safe but one quarter, in the south and east, still remained problematic. Dr Rasoul expressed happiness that Afghanistan’s relations were now better and constructive with the civilian government in Pakistan. He welcomed Finland's announcement of doubling troops in Afghanistan to better contribute to the process of providing security for the upcoming presidential elections this year.

The Finnish authorities reiterated the continuation of their country’s support for Afghanistan in the long run. They said Finland was hopeful about President Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan and would cooperate with it and that Finland insisted on the European Union’s stronger role in Afghanistan. It was also mentioned that the Finnish government was doing a second ‘White Paper’ on Afghanistan which would underline Finland’s continued support for Afghanistan.

Currently, Afghanistan is the largest recipient of Finland’s foreign aid in Asia and its annual civilian aid for that country is about 20 million Euros.

Embassy of Afghanistan, Oslo
Accredited to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland

For more information please contact:

Mr Khaled Khan, Strategic Communications Officer
+47 46273256/ khaled.khan@afghanistanembassy.no

Ms Siw Tynes Johnsen, Media Relations Officer
+47 2323923 / siw.johnsen@afghanistanembassy.no

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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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