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Germany gives 122 police cars to Afghan force

21 May 2004

KABUL – Germany, which is leading the international effort to establish a new police force in war-torn Afghanistan, on Thursday gave 122 police vehicles to the new force.

Visiting German Interior Minister Otto Schily announced the gift during a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ali Ahmad Jalali in Kabul. Schily was expected to hand over another 60 police vehicles during his visit to Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on Friday.

Schily was in Afghanistan a day after an international aid conference in the Gulf state of Qatar at which USD 340 million was made available by 26 nations and organisations towards the rebuilding of the police force.

At that meeting, Germany pledged USD 58 million over the next four years to rebuild Afghanistan’s police force.

Schily said the Doha pledges had secured the financial future of the police project.

Schily also met Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his visit.

At the Kabul police academy, he met German officers training the new recruits.

“Around the globe, there is nothing but praise for the work you are doing here,” Schily said.

The police experts in Afghanistan are viewed positively because they have shown their concern for the country and the Afghan people and have avoided being perceived as “instruments of oppression”, he said.

He also called on security forces to be vigilant of human rights, describing the police force as the “backbone” of democracy.

Without a police force acting according to constitutional values, there could be no peace in society, said Schily.

Afghanistan and its six neighbouring states in Qatar agreed on stronger regional police cooperation in border areas to stem drugs, weapons and human trafficking.


Subject: German news