German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif opens
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Germany on Sunday formally opened its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, at a special ceremony attended by senior officials.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Abdulhai Haider, Transport and Aviation Minister Daud Ali Najafi, Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor and others.
Westerwelle said opening the consulate was aimed at enhanced cooperation between Germany and Afghanistan and to provide consular services to the people and businesses in the north.
He said Germany’s assistance to Afghanistan was not going to end after 2014, when most foreign combat troops are scheduled to leave. Berlin would continue to help train Afghan forces in the years to come, the foreign minister promised.
Governor Atta Mohammad Noor thanked Germany for its development assistance to various Afghan sectors.
The deputy foreign minister hoped that the consulate would assist the Afghans in areas of business and commerce. Germany has 4,200 troops in Afghanistan’s northern provinces. So far 54 of them have been killed.
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