Afghan-EU strategic cooperation pact soon
KABUL (PAN): The European Union will sign with Afghanistan a strategic pact helping the government in defending the country, protecting women's rights and implementing the constitution, an official said on Monday.
Speaking at a seminar on "Afghanistan after the 2nd Bonn Conference till 2014" EU Representative for Vygaudas Ušackas said the union had informed the international fraternity about the agreement.
The accord would pave the ground for EU's long-term cooperation with Afghanistan, he hoped, saying it would also enable the Afghan government to boost the economy. "This pact will ensure a bright future for Afghanistan."
Preparatory work had been underway on the pact, whose draft would be delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the end of February, he added.
On Sunday, foreign ministry spokesman, Janan Musazai, said President Hamid Karzai would embark next week on a visit to Europe, during which he would sign long-term cooperation agreements with three states.
The president would meet British, French and Italian leaders during his swing through Europe. A strategic cooperation pact for 20 years with England is among the agreements to be signed for boosting Afghanistan's economic, political and cultural ties to the countries.
Ušackas said the European Union had provided 20 million euros (1.2 billion afghanis) to develop the judicial system of Afghanistan, and allocated 40 million euros for necessary administrative changes.
Jointly arranged by the EU and the Afghanistan Academy of Sciences, the seminar was aimed at discussing the implementation of the international promises held out at the 2nd Boon Conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin said two conferences aimed at discussing Afghanistan's economy and security would be held next summer in Tokyo and Chicago.
Without giving exact dates of the major meetings, Ludin said a regional conference "The Heart of Asia" would be held in Kabul in the near future.
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