(Photo: Afghanistan Embassy in Oslo)
His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, arrived in Copenhagen for an official visit on Monday 10th January 2011, to hold meetings with his Danish counterpart H.E. Lene Espersen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark on bilateral relations between Denmark and Afghanistan.
In this official visit H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul, was accompanied by Asad Omar, director of relation between Afghanistan and the European countries, Manizha Bakhtari, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the Nordic Countries and Ahmad Zahir Faqiri, spokesperson of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting with H.E. Dr. Zalmay Rasoul, H.E.Lene Espersen, Minister of Foreign affairs of Denmark pledged; even after the Danish military withdrawal the cooperation between the two countries in security and reconstruction parts will continue. She emphasized, the Danish government will continue their assistance to Afghanistan, in training security forces and in social sectors.
During the two countries foreign minister’s meeting, agreement on the long-term assistance and creating a commission of cooperation between the two Ministries has been signed. At the end of their meetings H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul had a joint press conference with H.E. Lene Espersen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and answered questions asked by the Danish Journalists regarding Afghanistan.
Additionally H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul met with Soren Pind, Minister for Development Cooperation, in order to discuss the importance of cooperation between Afghanistan and Denmark. Further, H.E. Rassoul wanted to emphasize the importance of the continuation of the Danish contribution to the stabilization and recovery of Afghanistan, and he also met with members of Foreign and Defence committees of the Danish Parliament.
As part of his official visit, His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul attended a seminar at the Danish Institute for International Studies and met with the Danish Afghanistan committee members, Danish NGO’s, Journalists and academic figures in Denmark. In his speech at the seminar H.E. Dr Zalmai Rassoul elaborated on general issues in Afghanistan; Afghanistan’s relationship with the neighboring countries, the peace process and talks with Taliban, the transition process of security to Afghanistan security forces, Afghanistan’s condition after 2014 and Women’s rights.
The Seminar ended with a question and answer session, H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul answered some questions asked by the participants and Danish Journalists regarding Afghanistan.
At the University hospital in Copenhagen H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul was accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Danish Army to visit a soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan. While in the hospital H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasoul said to all wounded soldiers and their families: “The people of Afghanistan are grateful towards the people of Denmark for their generous support to Afghanistan and for their commitment to the cause of peace and development in the world. The sacrifice offered by the Danish soldiers exemplifies this deep commitment, and the Afghan people deeply appreciate it.”
During an interview with the Danish television DR, H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul said: “the process of security transition to the Afghanistan security forces will start in 2011 and will end in 2014. In his interview H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul thanked the people of Denmark and the Danish Government for their support provided to people of Afghanistan over the past nine years and elaborated on the developments and achievements of the Afghan Government with the assistance of international forces in the country.