New foreign policy concept sent to president
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul on Tuesday said a new foreign policy concept for next decade had been sent to President Hamid Karzai for approval.
Rassoul, who arrived in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, addressed a joint press conference with Governor Atta Mohammad Noor.
Rassoul said Afghanistan could face economic and security problems after 2014, but they had already launched efforts to overcome possible challenges, according to Noor's spokesman Munir Farhad.
Farhad quoted Rassoul as saying future problems could be prevented only when the international community, especially the United States, provided modern equipment to the Afghans to continue the war on terrorism.
To deal with possible economic hardships, the foreign minister said some countries had pledged investments in Afghanistan.
Farhad said Noor criticised the electoral system and the peace process, floating his suggestions to the central government in this connection.
The governor said Afghanistan should have a clear foreign policy. He urged foreign troops to leave their installations intact and hand them to Afghan security forces.
He said transferring military equipment from Afghanistan would be costly because regional countries had to be paid heavy taxes.
The governor voiced his concern over the release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan, saying those freed had disappeared.
Noor feared the use of old voter cards would pave the way for fraud in the 2014 presidential election.
Rassoul said the international community had pledged modern weapons to Afghan forces. He defended the idea of giving permanent bases to the US military, arguing American troops would assist Afghan forces.
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