Spanta holds press conference on visit to Nordic countries

Upon his return to Kabul, the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, held a press conference about the achievements and results of his week-long visit to Nordic countries.

Updated: (3.06.2008)

Dr. Spanta regarding his firs stop in Slovenia thus spoke, “We talked about strengthening of bilateral relations and assistance of over 600 million euro for the coming three years to Afghanistan came under discussion.”

The Afghan Foreign Minister said, Slovenia is playing a significant role in establishment of peace in Afghanistan by sending 26 military trainers. There are already 66 Slovenian soldiers in the framework of ISAF in Heart Province to help bringing peace in Afghanistan.

The Nordic ountries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) appreciated the suggestion of the Afghan Foreign Ministry for reconstruction development and establishment of a cooperation block between Afghanistan and Nordic countries.

“We requested them adopting a single strategy in cooperation for development in Afghanistan”, said Dr. Spanta.

“Another issue was the contribution of these countries in the long-term process of reconstruction of Afghanistan and strengthening of PRT forces, which the Nordic countries each assured to cooperate in this issue.”

Using the previous achievements of the Afghan Government to absorb the foreign assistance for capacity building in Afghan national institutions such as, the assistance of Italy and United States to judiciary system and the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could achieve the support of Norway in strengthening the capacity building in MFA through providing scholarships and other means.

Dr. Spanta said, “Talking about the Paris Conference that is to be held in June was one of the interests of my counterparts who believed that it would be a good opportunity for evaluating the challenges and finding the solutions and adopting the priorities.”

Regarding the obligatory deporting of Afghan refugees in Sweden, Dr. Spanta said that we explicitly declared that no country should damage the stability and peace in Afghanistan by obligatory deporting of Afghan refugees. Afghan refugees should be given the opportunity to decide themselves whether to come back or stay.

The last stop was Denmark that with annual assistance of 50 million dollars has considerable role in Afghanistan. Now, 700 Danish soldiers are serving in fight against terrorism and bringing peace to Afghanistan.

“We also conveyed our deepest concern about the republishing of the Prophet Mohammad’s cartoons,” Dr. Spanta added, “We believe this issue is disrespecting the belief of over one billion Muslims around the world.”

“Our argument was that the right of freedom of expression is the natural right of every individual, but it must not cross its limits and cause damage to others beliefs and freedom of expression.”

“Those who are responsible for publishing such offensive cartoons are the pioneers for cultural conflict and are damaging the peace and civilizations in the world,” the Afghan FM continued.

Dr. Spanta in response to a question about the reaction of Danish Government regarding this issue added that this is not certainly the policy of Danish Government, but it is the work of some newspapers in the framework of Danish laws, therefore, the Danish Government can not stop them.

The Afghan FM while answering another question related to the selection of UN Special Representative to Afghanistan explained that the responsibilities are specific, first, arrangement of better coordination between the countries of international community like, EU, USA, and Afghanistan, and secondly the continuation of reconstruction process, governance, respect for law, and rule of law to be Afghanized.

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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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