Berlin pledges EUR 48m for Afghan police
19 May 2004
DOHA – Germany has pledged investment of EUR 48 million over the next four years in Afghanistan’s police force, German Interior Minister Otto Schily announced Wednesday at a conference on Afghan police training.
Addressing international donors of Afghanistan’s reconstructed police force in the Gulf State of Qatar, Schily called on them not to flag in their funding and coordination of the project.
Germany is leading the international drive for a new police force in Afghanistan.
Schily met United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan Jean Arnault and the Afghan Interior Minister Ahmad Jalali at the start of the international conference.
Poppy cultivation and drugs smuggling are central themes of the meeting. With the coordination of six neighbouring states it is hoped that the security situation in the country can be improved.
The conference is a follow-up to the Kabul Declaration on good neighbourly relations signed on 22 December 2002 and the Afghanistan Conference in Berlin, held on 31 March and 1 April.
The total cost of the police reconstruction project is estimated at EUR 300 million and, as well as allocating funding, the conference aims to secure further pledges of funding from donor states.
Once the conference has finished, Schily intends to travel to the Afghan capital Kabul and to the northern region of Kunduz.
Gulf states are contributing financially to the rebuilding of Afghanistan in an effort to reduce the risks of terrorism in the region.
A nationwide functioning police structure is one of the essential conditions for the security of the first free elections planned for September.
By the end of June a total of 20,000 police officers will be trained in Afghanistan. The goal for the end of 2005 is 50,000 fully trained police officers, of which 12,000 will be border police.
The Doha conference on police reconstruction in Afghanistan was organized by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the Ministries of Interior of Afghanistan and Germany and Qatar’s Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries.
Delegates from 25 nations, the UN, European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are participating.
Subject: German news