Norwegian Foreign Minister visits Afghanistan
Today was the first day of the Norwegian Foreign Minister’s visit to Afghanistan, during which he will visit the Norwegian forces in Northern Afghanistan and participate in the important International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul.
“Our engagement in Afghanistan is one of the most important and demanding areas of Norway’s foreign policy. I therefore consider it important to visit the country regularly, both to meet Norwegian personnel working in the field and to have talks with representatives of the Afghan authorities and the international community, among others,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
“The visit will also allow me to visit the Norwegian forces, and to express our support for the job they are doing,” said the Foreign Minister.
At the International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul later this week, the Afghan Government will come together with the foreign ministers of a number of countries to discuss the way ahead in Afghanistan.
“The Kabul Conference is important because it will be yet another step towards the Afghans fully gaining ownership and taking charge of their own security and development,” said Mr Støre.
“I am looking forward to discussing our future cooperation, in which the Afghans will take a leading role, with the international community playing a supporting role. One of the clear demands we have made to the Afghan authorities is that they must demonstrate a stronger will to fight corruption and promote good governance,” said the Foreign Minister.
Norway is in Afghanistan together with its NATO allies to promote stability, security and development at the request of the UN Security Council and the Afghan authorities. Norway is one of the largest contributors in terms of civilian reconstruction, providing some NOK 750 million per year. The main focus areas are education, good governance and rural development.