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Zayed reassures Karzai of continued support

posted on 30/09/2002: 1433 views

President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai of the UAE's continuing involvement in the reconstruction of Afghanistan yesterday at a meeting in Al Bahar palace. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister, were present at the meeting.

"There has been an encouraging response from the Gulf countries, particularly the UAE, for releasing all the funds pledged at the Tokyo conference. The response is very good and it (funds) will come in due time," Karzai told Gulf News in an exclusive interview, soon after his meeting with Sheikh Zayed. The UAE pledged US$36 million in aid at the International Donors Conference in Tokyo in January. The Afghan president, seeking the US$4.5 billion pledged by participating countries for the rebuilding of Afghanistan, said: "Some of the funds have been coming through the United Nations and NGOs."

Karzai, who is visiting the UAE as part of a three-nation tour of the Gulf that includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar to seek financial aid for rebuilding his war-devastated country, said his visit is also "part of his government's continued process of strengthening relations with the Islamic ummah", especially the Gulf countries.

"The government of Afghanistan appreciates the continued support extended by the region. Talks with Sheikh Zayed covered investment and participation of UAE organisations and businesses in the reconstruction. Karzai also briefed Sheikh Zayed on the political and social developments in Afghanistan. The Afghan leader said his first task on his return home will be to tackle the unfinished tasks set by the Bonn Agreement, of which a promised parliament failed to crystallise after a fractious Loya Jirga. (The Gulf News)


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