Ireland to continue support for Afghanistan
Minister of State, Tom Kitt T.D. represented the Government at a major conference held in Bonn today to mark the first anniversary of the Bonn Agreement on the future of Afghanistan.
Speaking at the conference, which was attended by President Karzai and representatives of the key Governments involved in the Afghanistan reconstruction process, the Minister congratulated Afghanistan's transitional administration on the remarkable progress achieved over the past year. Assisted by the international community the country has been placed firmly on the road towards recovery.
“The Irish Government and people” the Minister emphasised “ are deeply committed to the task of rebuilding Afghanistan. We will play our full part in the steps being taken to promote the countries lasting economic and social development.” Ireland, he noted, has been fully involved in the reconstruction efforts from the outset. We have pledged 12million euro in reconstruction assistance over a three year period, 44% of which has already been delivered. We have also provided significant resources through Irish NGO's (GOAL, concern, trocaire and Christian aid) and Multilateral organisations to address the countries humanitarian plight.
Our commitment to Afghanistan, the Minister made clear, will be for the long term. He will ensure that Afghanistan remains a key priority for Ireland's Programme of Development and Humanitarian Assistance.
The Minister said that the Government will do everything in its power to support the implementation of the BONN Agreement and help the Afghan people to realise their legitimate hopes for a peaceful and stable future.