Germany supports Afghan-led peace effort
BONN (PAN): The Bonn Conference, penciled in for Dec. 5, will mobilise the global fraternity to support Afghanistan beyond 2014, when all foreign troops are scheduled to pull out of the country, the German foreign minister said on Friday.
"We seek a strong commitment to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. Our objective is a peaceful Afghanistan that will never again become a safe haven for international terrorism," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
While affirming Germany firm commitment to a stable and prosperous future for Afghanistan, he said a decade after the Petersburg Conference in 2001, the objective of the upcoming meeting was to seek a strong commitment to a long-term partnership with the war-hit country.
Meanwhile, a German Foreign Office spokesperson said: "“Sustainable stabilisation and development depends on an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process, supported by the region and the international community, good enough governance and respect for human rights.”
The civilian aspects of transition until 2014, the political process in Afghanistan, as well as a long-term commitment beyond 2014 are among the key issues on the agenda for the conference, bringing together more than 100 countries and international organisations.
Political, economic and social advancement in Afghanistan needed further progress in governance, the rule of law and the fight against corruption, the spokesperson believed.
"There is a strategic consensus between Afghanistan and the international community that only an Afghan-led political process of reconciliation will bring lasting stability. The conference will encourage this process."
The event marks the end of an important year for Afghanistan, where security transition is on track, the phased withdrawal of international combat troops has begun and the door for a political reconciliation process and closer regional cooperation opened.
Chaired by Afghanistan and hosted by Germany, the conference theme is From Transition to Transformation. Over 100 delegations are expected in Bonn. More than 60 delegations will be led by foreign ministers or heads of international organisations.
About 900 journalists from all over the world have been accredited for the conference in Germany, the third biggest troop contributor to ISAF with 5, 350 soldiers and the third biggest international donor country.
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