Karzai due in Oslo to sign strategic deal
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai, currently engaged in a trilateral summit in London, is scheduled to arrive in Oslo on Monday for a two-day visit to sign a strategic partnership agreement with the Norwegian leadership.
Karzai will be meeting the King of Norway, Harald V, the President of the Parliament, in Norway called the Storting, consists of the president and the five vice presidents and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg during the visit, the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
The Afghan leader will also hold talks with Norwegian foreign and defence ministers as well as the Chair and members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.
The strategic partnership agreement defines the two countries’ objectives for cooperation until 2017.
The embassy said the accord was focused on closer political dialogue and cooperation in the areas of security, economy and development, good governance, rule of law, regional issues, human rights and migration.
It said Norway was committed to continue its development assistance at the present level, beyond 2014 and into the Transformation Decade.
Norway has pledged at least 50 percent of its assistance on budget and aligned 80 percent with the Afghan government’s plans. On the security side, Norway will support Afghan security forces post-2014 and will provide $25 million annually to them.
The Norwegian embassy said the proposed strategic agreement entailed mutual commitments agreed in Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo.
"Norway is committed to do its part and expects Afghanistan to do the same," the statement said, adding Norway anticipated Afghan authorities would make progress on good governance and fighting corruption, including on Kabul Bank.
"Norway expects that the Afghan government will deliver credible, inclusive and transparent elections in 2014 and 2015. It also expects progress on the empowerment of women, meaningful participation of women at all levels of government and inclusion of women in the reconciliation efforts."
Karzai postponed a visit to Norway in September last year due unrest in some Arab countries.
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