Afghanistan and Finland signs Strategic Agreement.
H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai Afghan President and Finish Prime Minister Mr. Jyrki Katainen signed an agreement on a strategic partnership between Afghanistan and Finland, today 29 April 2013.
During the official visit to sign the agreement, President Hamid Karzai, was accompanied by a delegation consisted of Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, National Security adviser, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and other high ranking Government officials.
The purpose of the official visit was to sign a bilateral strategic agreement between the two countries. The agreement between Afghanistan and Finland is based on mutual commitments where Finland, after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, will continue to provide development assistance to Afghanistan. Finland will continue to provide an annual allocation of 30 million Euros to Afghanistan were the main priority will be the maintainenance of peace and security, education and technology.
During the visit President Karzai had discussions with Finish President Mr. Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, President of the Finish Parliament Eero Heinäluoma, as well as representatives of the parliamentary groups in the Parliament.
The discussions covered the relations between Afghanistan and Finland, Finnish troops in Afghanistan, the election that Afghans have in the near future. The Finnish Prime Minister promised that his country will provide support to Afghanistan in all areas where Finland has extensive experience and expertise. Areas such as support to the Afghan security forces, education system, geology and resource recovery and environmental protection will be some of the priorities within cooperation between Afghanistan and Finland.
During the discussions, it was also confirmed that fifty percent of the Finnish support will go through governmental channels.
In return President Karzai thanked the Finnish People and Government for their close relationship and long-term support for his country and expressed the hope that his country might in future be able to learn more about Finland’s school system, which he described as the best in the world.
President Karzai also asked Finnish investors to invest in technology in Afghanistan and at the same time asked the Finnish government to facilitate and provide opportunities for Afghan youth to take education in Finland.
Further he said; "The Afghan people will not allow the progress that we have made in the past 10 years to be reversed, we will not allow our schools to be closed, we will not allow our girls not to go to school, we will not allow our women not to participate in the economy, society and in politics."
The meeting was successfully completed and the two respective countries look forward to a long lasting partnership.