Sweden vows long-term support for Afghanistan
Visiting Defence Minister Karin Enström held out the assurance at a meeting with her acting Afghan counterpart Ershad Ahmadi in Kabul, the foreign ministry said.
Sweden would remain engaged with Afghanistan after the completion of security transition and during the Transformation Decade. She called for stronger relations in military and civilian areas.
The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including the NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels and preparations for presidential and provincial council elections.
Strengthening and equipping of Afghan forces, continuation of NATO and allies’ cooperation with Afghanistan after the end of their current mission and the peace process were also discussed.
A statement from the ministry said the role of neighbours, particularly Pakistan, in the peace drive, establishment of the Afghan embassy in Stockholm and signing of the Afghan-US Bilateral Security Agreement also figured at the meeting.
Ahmadi said, “Necessary preparations have been made for holding presidential elections and it is hoped the Afghan people by selecting their desired candidate will take crucial steps towards strengthening our young democracy.”
Political relations between Afghanistan and Sweden were established in 1940 with the signing of a friendship treaty. Sweden established its embassy in Kabul in 2002.
Afghanistan will establish its first embassy in Sweden this month. Currently, a number of 287 Swedish soldiers within the framework of ISAF are involved in ensuring security and reconstruction activities in the north of the country.
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