Int'l community not to leave Afghanistan alone after 2014: German envoy

08:48, June 28, 2011      

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Michael Steiner(C), Germany's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, speaks during the meeting of International Contact Group (ICG) in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 27, 2011. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

The international community will not leave Afghanistan alone after 2014 when all foreign combat troops will leave the country or stay in supportive role, Michael Steiner, Germany's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan said here Monday.

"From all speakers we heard today in the International Contact Group (ICG), we heard that international community will stay with Afghanistan even after the security transition is completed," German special envoy, Steiner, who also chaired a two-day meeting of ICG in Afghan capital Kabul opened on Sunday, told reporters at a joint press conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul and U.S. envoy.

The German diplomat also said that international community will not repeat the mistakes in the past.

The international community will stay engaged in Afghanistan in economic, development, capacity building and infrastructure but also in encouraging the private investors, he further said.

"I think we have a realistic strategy and with this strategy we will cope with the issues and challenges and especially as we have agreement with international community, the engagement of international community is not over in 2014 but continues effectively," the German diplomat stated.

He said that the long term engagement would also focus on reconciliation process which must be Afghan-led and inclusive.

At the same press conference Marc Grossman, U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan in his speech emphasized on Washington and international community's commitment to the war-torn Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Addressing newsmen at the conference, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul said that matters pertaining the on-going peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, regional cooperation, transition of security charge from NATO-led troops to Afghan security forces and international community's supports towards Afghanistan beyond 2014 were discussed at the two-day ICG conference concluded Monday.

The process of transferring security responsibility from over 140,000-storng NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF) to Afghan national security forces will begin from July this year and will be completed by the end of 2014.

This is the second ICG meeting attended by representatives from over 50 countries and international organizations held on Afghanistan since beginning this year. The previous ICG conference was held in Jeddah of Saudi Arabia, also chaired by Steiner early March.

President Barack Obama announced last Wednesday night in Washington to begin U.S. forces drawdown from Afghanistan in July. In the first phase 10,000 troops will go back home by the end of this year; while 23,000 more will be departed to home in 2012.

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