Sweden pledges 58b afghanis in aid to Kabul over next 10 years
At a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani on Friday, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven promised the assistance and urged improved relations between the two countries.
Löfven renewed Sweden’s continued committed to supporting Afghanistan. Ghani thanked Sweden for its support, promising transparency in utilisation of aid.
Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDCA) chief later signed an agreement on improved development cooperation.
Based on the agreement, Sweden will provide 8.7 billion krona, or 58 billion afghanis, to the Afghan government over the next 10 years.
Ghani also met the Swedish parliament speaker and a number of lawmakers on fighting terrorism, regional cooperation and resolving the refugees’ problems.
Ghani stressed it was the time for converting Afghanistan into a bridge between Central and South Asia, and help it utilise its capacity for producing energy.
He reckoned only 30 percent of Afghanistan’s natural resources accounted for three trillion US dollars. All shady or flawed contracts for tapping the natural wealth would be amended or scrapped, he assured.
The president said the refugees going to other countries incurred heavy losses and should be treated in accordance with international and Swedish laws. He alleged some foreigners going to Europe in search of better lives faked their identities.
He argued foreign assistance was needed to keep the Afghans from migration to other countries and generate job opportunities for them inside Afghanistan.
The president,touting investmentopportunities in his war-devastated country, promised entrepreneurs all possible protection and encouragement.
“We are in the frontline in the fight against terrorism. Despite the lack of resources, our security forces have been able to foil sinister enemy plans. Our foes want to create a political geography and impose humiliating peace on Afghans.”
He stressed the creation of an international framework for combating terrorism, saying Afghanistan was in contact with the whole world on how to end violence.
Ghani said his administration had launched talks with regional countries to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan. All the political parties of Sweden,in a rare show of unity, offered support to Afghanistan.
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