Berlin reiterates commitmentto rebuilding Afghanistan

20th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2004 , KUNDUZ - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer used a visit to the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Tuesday to reaffirm Germany's commitment to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan. "We will honor our commitments," said Fischer, who met with the army chief in the province, General Mohammad Daud. "This is not an occupation," he added, then emphasized that this is a cooperation, an assistance toward stabilization, a UN commitment. In Iraq all hope is now on UN special envoy to Iraq, Lakhd

20 April 2004

KUNDUZ - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer used a visit to the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Tuesday to reaffirm Germany's commitment to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan.

"We will honor our commitments," said Fischer, who met with the army chief in the province, General Mohammad Daud.

"This is not an occupation," he added, then emphasized that this is a cooperation, an assistance toward stabilization, a UN commitment.

In Iraq all hope is now on UN special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, who already did much for Afghanistan, said Fischer.

Brahimi, who until January was the UN special envoy to Afghanistan, succeeded in producing a political consent in the country, said Fischer.

Germany's foreign minister met Brahimi on Sunday in Paris and expressed the desire for the UN to have a "central role" during the transition of power in Baghdad when an interim government is to be formed on 1 July.

The German minister thanked the Afghanis for their cooperation in Kunduz, where about 230 German soldiers are working together with civilians to help rebuild the war-ravaged region and pledged to send another team to Afghanistan. In return, Daud said the Germans have been well received in the region.

At the international conference on Afghanistan held in Berlin at the beginning of the month it was decided to send five more reconstruction teams before September's scheduled general elections. There are currently 11 such teams working in the country.

Fischer said the teams goals are to guarantee security without having the Afghans feel as if they are occupied by an outside force.

Fischer is due later on Tuesday to meet in the capital Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and United Nations Special Representative Jean Arnault. A major focus of his talks will be preparations for the planned September elections.

DPA

Subject: German news

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