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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Bonn: Estonia Will Help to Build Up Afghanistan After 2014 As Well

06.12.2011

Foreign Minister Paet said that the international community confirmed its dedication to building up Afghanistan in Bonn today. Paet said the goal is for Afghanistan to never again be the source of international terrorism. “It is essential to support the Afghan government in developing the capabilities of the security forces so that the Afghans themselves can bear responsibility for their territory and the development of their country,” he added.

Paet stated that the international community must help Afghanistan develop to the point where the country is strong enough to protect its own residents and national security. “In order to achieve this we must focus on three areas: helping the Afghans develop their own international security forces, aiding to build up a nation that functions in the interests of its citizens, and supporting endeavours to shape a political process that involves everyone,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. “In addition to the contribution of the international community, it must be apparent that Afghanistan itself is fulfilling the obligations it has accepted and is including all groups of society in the building up of the nation. Without the trust of the local people, all this effort will not yield results,” he added.

According to Paet, increasing the stability of Afghanistan has a direct effect on Pakistan, which in turn helps to inhibit the activities of rebels crossing the borders. “Afghanistan and Pakistan must achieve co-operation in order to be able to address threats to their residents and the stability of the whole region,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet asserted that Afghan development aid still requires many years. “The need for aid in Afghanistan is great and Estonia’s contributions to help one of the world’s poorest countries are welcomed, since it would not be possible to build up a functioning and stable nation using only military means,” Paet emphasised. He added that the civilian component is extremely important in helping Afghanistan reach the point where Afghans can manage their country on their own and do not rely as heavily on the help of donors. “Currently Estonia is tied primarily to health care, education, and promoting good administrative practice in Afghanistan,” Paet said.

Estonia has also sent police officers to both the EU Police Mission EUPOL as well as the NATO Training Mission. “We plan to send experts to the police mission soon as well,” Paet said. Our health care expert will continue to work on the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand Province and our special mission will remain in Kabul.

Representatives of 88 countries are taking part in the Afghanistan conference, including 60 foreign ministers and 17 international organisations. Topics to be discussed at the conference are opportunities to support the building up of the country after responsibility for security is given over to Afghanistan in 2014.



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