President Karzai meets with Nordic foreign ministers

Press release attributable to the Embassy of Afghanistan to the Nordic countries.
Paris, June 13th, 2008

Updated: (6.13.2008)

Paris, France

His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan met today with foreign ministers of the five Nordic countries, on the sidelines of the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan in Paris. The Nordic region’s cooperation in improving aid effectiveness in the development process, and providing education and capacity building opportunities for Afghan civil service and professionals, were among the issues discussed.

At the outset, President Karzai thanked the Nordic countries for their generous financial contributions and for staying the course as Afghanistan continues on the path of reconstruction and development. The President pointed out that some of the achievements in Afghanistan over the past six years amount to historical transformation. In particular, the progress in realization of women’s rights, increased access to education and health and the opportunity for Afghan people to participate in a democratic political process were discussed at the meeting.

Discussing the importance of aid effectiveness, the President noted that, in addition to channeling more aid through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund and other similar mechanisms, the capacity of Afghan state institutions need to be improved, necessitating special donor focus. The President emphasized a more long-term and sustainable approach to capacity building, different from capacity substitution which has been the dominant approach in the past, and called on Nordic donors for cooperation in providing short and longer term education and training opportunities in their countries.

Other issues discussed between President Karzai and the visiting foreign ministers included the regional dimension of the terrorist threat, the continued reform and strengthening of the judiciary, the challenges to realization of human rights, and tackling corruption. The foreign ministers expressed their respective preparedness to assist in addressing these challenges.

The meeting, organized at the initiative of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Oslo, was attended by the Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr Jonas Gahr Store, Foreign Minister of Denmark, Mr Per Stig Moller, Foreign Minister of Sweden, Mr Karl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Finland, Mr Alexander Stubb, and Foreign Minister and External Trade of Iceland, Mrs Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir.

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

For further information, please contact:

Mehdi Yari, Second Secretary
+47 23239222/

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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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