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Aid is no charity, but investment in peace: Kabul

Aid is no charity, but investment in peace: Kabul

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May 20, 2012 - 19:01

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said international assistance “is not charity for Afghanistaninfo-icon, but a necessary investment in lasting peace in the entire region.”

“I am confident that decisions on Afghanistan taken at NATOinfo-icon’s Chicago summit will be positive,” Janan Musazai told a press conference in Kabul, as worldinfo-icon leaders gathered in the US for the two-day event.

Coming hard on the heels of the G8 conference, the NATO summit on Afghanistan’s future is set to begin in Chicago. Foreign troops’ role after 2014, funding for Afghan forces and preserving achievements of the past decade are top of the agenda.

NATO secretary-general's spokesman, Oana Lungescu, told Pajhwok Afghan News approval of $4.1 billion for Afghan security force and ways to preserve achievements of the international community and Afghan government would be discussed.

“As expected, Australia, Germany and the UK announced their assistance. We expect that a decision will be taken on the ($4.1 billion) annual funding for Afghan security forces,” Musazai said.

He added the international community had to support Afghanistan because the situation in the country had a direct impact on the entire region and world. “Peace in Afghanistan is inter-linked with peace in the region and the world at large.”

Musazai added: “The people of Afghanistan have rendered many sacrifices in the war against international terrorism and they will remain in the forefront for another decade.”

He believed the summit would encourage Afghanistan and some regional countries by announcing that Afghan forces would continue to receive aid, training and equipment after the 2014 foreign troop withdrawal.

“Afghanistan will be able to ensure its domestic security as an independent state and give a strong response to foreign aggression,” the spokesman continued.

President Hamid Karzai, heading a high-level delegation, and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, who accepted a last-minute invitation, are attending the meeting.

Musazai said Afghanistan and NATO were expected to announce a joint declaration at the end of the summit. “In the declaration, Afghanistan will renew its commitment to the war against terrorism and adherence to a democratic system.”

“Afghanistan is committed to strengthening democracy because it is the demand of Afghan people, and is mentioned in the constitution. Afghanistan will serve a long-term trustworthy ally of the world,” he said.

President Hamid Karzai and Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard were to sign a strategic cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the summit, said Musazai, who did not go into details.

Afghanistan has signed strategic accords with the US, India, Italy, the UK, France and Germany and such an agreement is expected to be signed between Kabul and Istanbul.

ma/mud

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