Meeting between Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
June 16, 2010
On June 16 (Wed), Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held talks for about 60 minutes from 11:10 a.m. at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building with Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, who is visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the outset, Minister Okada conveyed that assistance to Afghanistan has been an issue of importance since the Hatoyama Administration, and will continue to be steadily promoted under the new Kan Administration.
- In response, Minister Zakhilwal thanked on behalf of the Afghan government and people for Japan’s assistance for the past eight years as well as the new assistance package of up to 5 billion US dollars. He conveyed Afghanistan’s intention to act on its own initiative to achieve sustainable development and long-term stability, by presenting a concrete action plan toward national reconstruction to the people and thereby gaining support from the international community. He also expressed his expectation for Japan’s continued support and leadership role going forward.
- Minister Okada said the improvement of public security and strengthening of governance must be prioritized in order for Japan to provide the most effective assistance for Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and rebuilding, so as to make effective use of Japanese people’s tax money. Against the backdrop of the severe security situation, he also noted the importance of implementing programs that can truly help raise the people’s standard of living and of employment promotion in both urban and rural areas, in order for the current administration to win popular support.
- In response, Minister Zakhilwal said that concerning governance Afghanistan had been working on reform, anti-corruption measures, and improvement of fiscal management within the government, toward the Kabul International Conference to be held in July this year. Concerning employment promotion, he said Afghanistan will step up its efforts for sustainable job creation and human resource development through the formation of clusters of priority areas such as agriculture and rural development, economic and infrastructure development, and human resource development.
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