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Bonn conference focuses on Afghanistan's future

12-05-2011 13:46 BJT

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An international conference on the future of Afghanistan is about to open in the German city of Bonn. About 100 countries and international organizations will be represented at the Monday gathering, including some 60 foreign ministers. The gathering will focus on Afghanistan’s economic future and on defining the West’s future presence in the country.

On the eve of the international gathering, Germany’s Foreign Minister said stability and reconciliation in Afghanistan was in the interest of the international community as well as the region.

Police guard the entrance of the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany Sunday Dec.
4, 2011.

German Foreign Minister Fuido Westerwelle said: "International engagement needs to be clearly defined. We propose three pillars for this- continuing civilian reconstruction; sustain support to the Afghan National Security Forces and helping the country unlock its enormous economic potential for the benefit of the Afghan people and of the region. "

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that his government would remain committed to the reconstruction of the country, and for that he said a large financial commitment is needed from the international community.

Karzai said: "We will remain committed to the reforms that we have promised, to the building of the state institutions that are so necessary for Afghanistan and to working for a peaceful process that is Afghan owned and Afghan led that leads truly to a peace that will strengthen Afghanistan and to a peace that will bring harmony and stability and cooperation in the region."

The Conference seeks to chart a roadmap for Kabul as the NATO forces prepare to leave the country by 2014. Organizers want to bolster long-term international engagement with Afghanistan and support efforts to restore security.

An armoured police vehicle stands in a street in Bonn, Germany Sunday Dec, 4, 2011.

Pakistani people yell anti-NATO slogans during a demonstration in Islamabad, capital
of Pakistan on December 4, 2011, against the cross-border NATO air strike on
Pakistani troops. The Pakistani government has turned down Washington's invitation to
jointly investigate a cross-border attack by NATO forces that killed 24 Pakistani
soldiers. (Xinhua /Ahmad Kamal)

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