Norway pledges $125m in reconstruction aid
Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced his government’s assistance during a meeting with President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the 25th NATO summit in Chicago.
A statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul quoted Stoltenberg as saying his country would assist Afghanistan with developing child healthcare, education and higher studies sectors.
Karzai insisted on transparency in using the Norwegian money. Australia has also pledged $300 million for a three year period, Germany id="mce_marker"90 million, Britain id="mce_marker"10 million and Pakistan $20 million to strengthen Afghan security forces.
Karzai and the Norwegian premier discussed bilateral ties, as well as the peace process, security transition from foreign soldiers to Afghan forces and strategic cooperation pacts with several countries.
Stoltenberg proposed a similar accord between the two countries, which is expected to be signed in the near future.
Karzai said: “Afghanistan does not want to be burden on the international fraternity, including Norway, beyond 2014." Norway has 400 soldiers operating in Afghanistan under command of the International Security Assistance Force.
Most Norwegian soldiers are based in Faryab province and 10 of their soldiers had been killed in the ongoing conflict.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.