Meeting between Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Abdul Karim Khalili, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

June 22, 2007

On June 20 (Wed), Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Mr. Abdul Karim Khalili, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, for about 40 minutes from 17:00.  The gist of the meeting is as follows.

1.  Mr. Aso welcomed Mr. Khalili’s visit to Japan, and Mr. Khalili said:

(1) The reconstruction of Afghanistan started at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in January 2002 hosted by Japan.  Taking this opportunity, on behalf of my government I would like to express my appreciation to Japan for its great support to my country.  I hope for your country’s continued support.

(2) I appreciate Japan’s active support for the disbandment of the illegal armed groups (DIAG). I highly value Japan’s initiative in holding the “Conference on DIAG for the Stabilization of Afghanistan: Coordination with Police Reform” tomorrow.  DIAG is of particularly high interest among the people in Afghanistan, and is strongly supported by them.  

(3) Afghanistan is in the process of reconstruction, while the fight against terrorism is still going on.  I appreciate Japan’s contribution to the fight against terrorism and the stabilization of Afghanistan, through the deployment of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force in the Indian Ocean.  I hope for its continued contribution.

2.   Mr. Aso said:

(1) Japan has been actively supporting your country by the dispatch of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force to the Indian Ocean and ODA of more than 1.2 billion dollars. Japan intends to continue its support with steady assistance of 250 million dollars in the fields of rural development, DIAG, improvement of infrastructure such as roads, and human resources development.  Japan would also like to contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan as the chair country of the G8 Summit Meeting next year.  

(2) Particularly, success of DIAG is an urgent issue so as to extend the central government’s authority to the provinces and to establish the rule of law throughout the country.  

(3) Reconstruction without the recovery of security is difficult and thus the process of stabilization and reconstruction of your country should not be turned back.  This year is a crucial time and I strongly look forward to your efforts.