- Statements made by the foreign ministrys spokesperson-excerpts-paris
Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy will represent France at the London Conference on Afghanistan on January 31.
The conference comes after the installation of the new Afghan Parliament on December 19, 2005, which completed the political transition in Afghanistan defined by the Bonn agreement of December 4, 2001. It has three main objectives :
to adopt a ‘contract for Afghanistan’ that will set out the goals, principles and modalities for international involvement alongside Afghanistan, with the United Nations retaining a central place ;
examine the ‘interim strategic program for national development’ prepared by the Afghan authorities. This program sets out Afghanistan’s priorities in terms of reconstruction and development, increasing security and stepping up fight against drug production and trafficking ;
establish the status of pledges from the international community to finance Afghanistan’s needs.
France will reaffirm its solidarity with Afghanistan at the conference. We’re providing support to improve security in the country and are continuing to train the Afghan army. Next summer, we will take command over Kabul province, within the international security assistance force (ISAF). We will continue to take part in the country’s reconstruction, and the minister will announce new significant pledges for coming years.
Q - Are you satisfied with the military situation and the security and political situation in Afghanistan ?
The situation continues to be somewhat precarious, especially in certain regions of Afghanistan. That’s why there’s an international force there, ISAF, in which many countries are participating, including France. We have about 600 men with ISAF which is helping to secure the country. And as you know, there’s also a proposal to extend ISAF particularly through what are called the PRTs, which are to be extended to the south of the country. Obviously, in some areas the security situation remains very precarious. There’ve been a number of attacks recently, including in Kabul.