Oslo to assist Kabul until 2017 on civilian front
Under the agreement, Norway would continue to assist Afghanistan on civilian front even after the country would wind down its military contribution as part of the NATO-led alliance's planned withdrawal in 2014, In return, Afghanistan would continue and intensify efforts at ensuring good governance and ending administrative corruption, a statement from the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul said.
Karzai, who arrived in Oslo on Monday, signed the strategic partnership agreement with Stoltenberg after meeting the King of Norway, Harald V, and other officials.
The Afghan leader also held talks with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
“In my talks with President Karzai today, I stressed that Norway intends to provide long-term support for Afghanistan. We will therefore continue our civilian assistance to the country, even after the period leading up to 2014 when we will be winding down our military contribution,” Eide said.
The embassy said the agreement was based on mutual commitments. Norway would continue to provide development assistance and the Afghan authorities would intensify their efforts at protecting human and women’s rights, ensuring good governance and crackdown on corruption.
“We need to be absolutely sure that the substantial amounts of funding we are providing to Afghanistan are being used effectively. Good governance and efforts to combat corruption are therefore an important part of the agreement,” Eide said.
Norway would continue to provide 50 million of Norwegian Krones to Afghanistan annually until 2017 for education, good governance and rural development, and women’s rights and anti-corruption efforts, the statement said.
“The Afghan people deserve a better future. First and foremost, this is the responsibility of the Afghan authorities, but they will continue to need help and aid from other countries, including Norway,” Eide said in the statement.
Karzai and Eide also discussed progress in the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, as well as developments in the regional dialogue also involving Pakistan.
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