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Estonian Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Väino Reinart Met With Afghan Foreign Minister

04.07.2013

No 230-E

Estonian Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and non-residing Ambassador to Afghanistan Väino Reinart is in Afghanistan this week, where he will meet with members of the government and representatives of international organisations. Reinart also participated in a meeting in Kabul between high-level officials of the Afghan government and international partners regarding supporting Afghanistan’s long-term development.

Yesterday, 2 July, Estonian Special Representative Väino Reinart met with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul in Kabul. During the meeting they discussed potentially using Estonia’s reform experiences to help build up the Afghan nation and intensifying co-operation between the foreign ministries of the two countries. They also discussed the most recent developments in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Rassoul gave an overview of the transition to take over responsibility for security and thanked Estonia for its contribution to building up Afghanistan. Special Representative Reinart stated that Afghanistan has made major progress in the last few years regarding the general development of the whole country. “Ongoing support for Afghanistan’s development after the transition period is of vital importance in ensuring the region’s stability and well-being,” Reinart said. He added that Estonia would also like to intensify co-operation between the foreign ministries of Estonia and Afghanistan.
 
At the meeting of the government and international partners of Afghanistan, the report on future goals as well as the progress that the Afghan government and the international community made in the past year in fulfilling their obligations was approved. The meeting took place as a continuation of the conference on the future of Afghanistan held in Tokyo last year with the participation of the Afghan government and the UN to prepare for the ministerial meeting taking place in 2014.

Estonian Special Representative Reinart also met with  Speaker of the Afghan Parliament Abdul Rauf Ibrahim, chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Sima Samar, and Afghan Minister for Information Technology Amirzai Sangin, as well as European Union’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas. He will end his visit with a meeting with the Estonian expert at the European Union police mission and NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Maurits Jochems.

Afghanistan is one of Estonia’s priority development co-operation partners. The priority sectors for Estonia’s development aid activities are education, health care, security, and good administrative practice. During the last 12 years Estonia has supported Afghanistan with over 6 million euros. “We have focused on these areas in our bilateral aid projects. We also direct our support to the aforementioned sectors through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund managed by the World Bank,” stated Estonian Special Representative Väino Reinart. “Within its development co-operation activities in Afghanistan, Estonia feels it is especially important to stand for the rights of women and children, as they are the most vulnerable groups in the country,” he added.

In July of 2012 in Tokyo, the foreign ministers of the donor countries agreed to allocate 16 billion dollars to support Afghanistan’s development over the next four years in order to achieve concrete development goals. The giving of international aid is conditional and depends on the success of the reforms carried out by the Afghan government for implementing good administrative practice, including ensuring free and fair elections; human rights, including advancing rights for women; the fight against corruption; and ensuring the general development of civil society. Another vital matter is the Afghan government’s ability to use the aid effectively and transparently.

Estonia will continue contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) until the middle of 2014, when NATO’s ISAF mission will end, and is prepared to support the upcoming presidential and local elections in April. Estonia is participating in the European Union police mission (EUPOL – Afghanistan) and the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A) until the end of 2014. After 2014 Estonia is prepared to contribute to NATO’s new training mission in Afghanistan and to support the development of Afghanistan’s security forces with up to 500 000 USD over three years starting in 2015.

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