Will continue to work in Afghanistan beyond 2014: Germany

“I assured his excellency Mr Krishna that our commitment to Afghanistan will not stop at the end of 2014 after the withdrawal of international combat troops.

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published:June 23, 2012 3:17 am

Germany will continue to provide civil assistance and security training in Afghanistan even after withdrawal of the US-led forces from the region in December 2014 because security and development are two sides of the same coin,German Minister for Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle said on Friday while welcoming civil assistance initiatives in the region by India.

The German Foreign Minister was speaking with respect to the nature of talks he held with India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in Bangalore on Friday afternoon in the course of a visit to the city to inaugurate the Bangalore edition of the ongoing Indo-German Urban Mela.

“I assured his excellency Mr Krishna that our commitment to Afghanistan will not stop at the end of 2014 after the withdrawal of international combat troops. In the interest of long-term stability in Afghanistan and in the region we will continue to support Afghanistan with civil assistance and training,’’ the German minister said.

“In this context we appreciate very much that India will soon host a private sector conference to encourage more private investments in Afghanistan. We share this philosophy,we share this policy because we know security and development are two sides of the same coin,’’ he said.

The German minister’s remarks come close on the heels of a statement issued by the Taliban in Afghanistan last week welcoming India’s purported resistance to providing security training and assistance for policing the region after 2014 despite US pressure.

Westerwelle while condemning Friday’s hostage taking and attack by terrorists at a hotel in Kabul said,“I deeply regret the loss of innocent lives. The terror will not stop us from working for a better future for Afghanistan.”

The two foreign ministers said they also discussed the need for a new architecture for the UN Security Council to reflect the current geo-political situation in the world.

“India and Germany both share the same goals. Time has changed and the situation has changed and we think that the situation in the world or the architecture of the world should now be represented in the Security Council also with permanent membership,’’ the German minister said.

On the economic crisis in Europe threatening to derail the global economy,Westerwelle said it was not a Euro crisis but a debt crisis that had moved into a confidence crisis.

He expressed optimism that Europe will be able to manage the crisis.

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