Karzai urges German investment in Afghanistan
KABUL(PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Saturday urged Germany to invest in different Afghan sectors after the security transition to Afghan forces from their international colleagues, a process beginning in July.
Karzai made the call at a meeting with German defence minister, Thomas de Maiziere at the Presidential Palace before his departure for Iran on Saturday, a statement issued from the palace said.
Karzai discussed with de Maiziere bilateral relations, regional situation, security handover plan and the peace process, the statement said.
The President insisted his government policy that favoured a gradual pull out of foreign forces from Afghanistan should be implemented.
He thanked Germany for its assistances with the Afghan people, calling investment of German companies significant for the development of Afghanistan.
He also urged the international community to continue its cooperation toward improving the country's economy beyond the 2014 deadline when the process of foreign troops' withdrawal completes.
Thomas de Maiziere arrived in the capital on Saturday on his first visit to Afghanistan hours after the German parliament Friday approved the increase of the German contingent in Afghanistan by 300 air force personnel, to free up resources for deployment to Libya.
Following a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Abdul Rahim Wardak, de Maiziere said his country was committed to train the Afghan security forces.
The partnership of German and Afghan forces on the front lines was 'key to the success' of the ultimate transfer of security responsibility to Afghans, he said, downplaying a shooting spree by an Afghan soldier in which three German soldiers were killed a month ago as an isolated incident.
The German minister also confirmed that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would hand over the first seven cities and provinces over to the Afghan army and police starting in July.
De Maiziere is also scheduled to meet with the commander of the international forces, US General David Petraeus.
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