H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai Afghan President and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on 5 February 2013 signed an agreement on a strategic partnership between Afghanistan and Norway.
H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai Afghan President and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on 5 February 2013 signed an agreement on a strategic partnership between Afghanistan and Norway. After an invitation by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai visited the Kingdom of Norway between 4 and 5 February 2013.
During the official visit President Hamid Karzai, was accompanied by a delegation consisted of National Security adviser, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, President's Advisor in international affairs, Mr. Yahya Maroofi, Deputy of Presidents Office, Mrs. Homeyra Ludin, Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Mr. Hamid Siddiq, Presidents Spokesperson, Mr. Imal Faizi, Chief of Fourth Political Division Mr. Nasser Zia, H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai Secretary, Mr. Yama Quraishi and other Afghanistan’s high ranking officials.
Norwegian Defence Minister Mrs. Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen together with Ambassador to the Nordic Countries, H.E. Mrs. Manizha Bakhtari, Norway’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mr. Nils Haugstveit, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan to Nordic Countries Mr. Ahmad Jawid Mojadidi and other high-ranking government officials welcomed H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai to Norway.
The purpose of the official visit was to sign a bilateral strategic agreement between the two respective countries. The agreement between Afghanistan and Norway is based on mutual commitments where Norway will, after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, continue to provide development assistance, contribute to train Afghan Police Forces, help to maintenance peace and security and assist Afghans developing a stable and democratic government after 2014. Afghanistan has been a high priority on Norway’s agenda for a long time in both military and civilian terms and the country will continue to provide an annual allocation of 750 million NOK to Afghanistan until 2017. The main priority of the contribution will be education, good governance, rural development, human rights and anti-corruption. The agreement reaffirms the framework agreed by the international community and Afghanistan at the Bonn and Tokyo conferences.
During the visit President Karzai had discussions with His Majesty King Harald V, Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, President of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget), Dag Terje Andersen, and the representatives of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs and defense Committee.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, expressed optimism for the development in Afghanistan so far and promised H.E. President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people for further support in the years after 2014. “The Afghan people deserve a better future. First and foremost, this is the responsibility of the Afghan authorities, but they will continue to need help and aid from other countries. Norway intends to provide long-term support for Afghanistan and we will therefore continue our civilian assistance, even after the period leading up to 2014 when we will be winding down our military contribution.” Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Espen Barth Eide said.
H.E. Mr. Karzai in discussions with Mr. Espen Barth Eide used the occasion to thank the Norwegian government and the people for their support and contributions to Afghanistan and said that Norway’s support has not been in vain. He added that Norway has been among the best partners in the re-construction of Afghanistan through the years and asked Norway to continue the cooperation in the future.
Also, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stated Norway will not let Afghanistan alone with their challenges, and will help the country take care of its own security while also promoting programs like providing educational opportunities, development and security.
In return H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai underlined that Afghan authorities will intensify their efforts in the areas of democracy and human rights, good governance and anti-corruption. He added that efforts in recent years have been successful and that corruption in recent years has declining significantly. H.E. Mr. Karzai promised to put all the means in place to reduce corruption more in the future.
The meeting was successfully completed and the two respective countries look forward to a long lasting partnership.