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Norway pledges $125m in reconstruction aid

Norway pledges $125m in reconstruction aid

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May 22, 2012 - 16:09

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon):  Norway has pledged to provide id="mce_marker"25 million (6.2 billion afs) in annual aid to Afghanistaninfo-icon to help the reconstructioninfo-icon of the country, the president's office said on Tuesday.

Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced his government’s assistance during a meeting with President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the 25th NATOinfo-icon summit in Chicago.

A statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul quoted Stoltenberg as saying his country would assist Afghanistan with developing child healthcare, educationinfo-icon and higher studies sectors.

Karzai insisted on transparency in using the Norwegian money. Australia has also pledged $300 million for a three year period, Germany id="mce_marker"90 million, Britain id="mce_marker"10 million and Pakistaninfo-icon $20 million to strengthen Afghan security forces.

Karzai and the Norwegian premier discussed bilateral ties, as well as the peace process, security transition from foreign soldiers to Afghan forces and strategic cooperation pacts with several countries.

Stoltenberg proposed a similar accord between the two countries, which is expected to be signed in the near future.

Karzai said: “Afghanistan does not want to be burden on the international fraternity, including Norway, beyond 2014." Norway has 400 soldiers operating in Afghanistan under command of the International Security Assistance Force.

Most Norwegian soldiers are based in Faryab province and 10 of their soldiers had been killed in the ongoing conflict.

frm/vp/mud

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