Meeting between Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Anwar Ul-Haq Ahady, Minister of Finance of Afghanistan

November 19, 2007

   On November 19 (Mon), Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Mr. Anwar Ul-Haq Ahady, Minister of Finance of Afghanistan, for about 25 minutes from 11:10 a.m.

  1.    On the present situation in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Koumura stated that about five million refugees have returned to Afghanistan so far and that the economy is heading in a positive direction, although such challenge as public safety and narcotics remain.  Mr. Koumura expressed his hope that Afghanistan would overcome these difficulties with the efforts of Mr. Ahady who supervises the reconstruction.  On the fight against terrorism, Mr. Koumura said that Japan would like to resume its replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean soon.
  2.    Mr. Ahady responded that he was grateful to Japan for consistently playing a major role in the reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan, since the time Japan held the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in January 2002 in Tokyo.  He acknowledged Japan’s post-war reconstruction was a very encouraging historical reality for Afghanistan.  Minister Ahady said that, although Japanese assistance has been used effectively, there remain many problems in Afghanistan and that as Afghanistan moves from the stage of reconstruction to that of development, he would request for continued assistance from the international community including Japan in various sectors.
       Finance Minister Ahady was aware that narcotics and public safety remain to be a problem in Afghanistan.  On the international fight against terrorism, in which many countries are engaged, Minister Ahady expressed his appreciation to Japan’s role and also expressed his expectation that Japan’s activities including replenishment support in the Indian Ocean would be continued.