West Remains Committed to Afghanistan, Spokesman Says
Afghanistan’s people demonstrated their trust in democracy at the recent presidential elections and the West will continue to be involved in the country even after their troops leave, a member of Afghanistan’s diplomatic delegation told ETV.
When asked about President Hamid Karzai’s recent recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Gharani Khwakhuzhi, spokesman of Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry, told ETV’s program “Välisilm” on Monday that the country tries to stay neutral when it comes to superpowers and have good relations with countries that support Afghanistan.
He said the recent presidential elections, which were held without violence and the turnout was around 60 percent, indicate the people’s hope for a peaceful future.
The West has changed the country significantly since 2001, he said, highlighting education for girls and the development of infrastructure and technology.
When asked whether Afghanistan will turn to Russia for help once the West leaves, Khwakhuzhi stressed that the West will not be leaving, and highlighted the Chicago and Tokyo conferences as examples of commitment beyond 2014 when the military operations end. There are also discussions with NATO, the U.S. and the UK on military co-operation and training.
Poppy trade has also changed since 2001, for better and for worse, Khwakhuzhi said, adding that it should be remembered it is an international business.