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Lord Robertson meets President of the Afghan transitional Authority

NATO Press Release (2003)112

29 Sept. 2003

Lord Robertson and President Karzai met for 90 minutes in Scotland on Sunday 28 September. They discussed Lord Robertson's visit to Kabul last week and a range of issues relating to the future of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.

President Karzai thanked Lord Robertson for visiting Kabul at this early stage in the NATO mission, and for the valuable meetings he had held with Minister of Defence Mohammed Fahim Khan and Minister of Interior Ali Ahmed Jalali. The President confirmed that the Afghan Transitional Authority and the Afghan people were extremely satisfied with and grateful for ISAF's work in Kabul. He also thanked all of the countries that had taken the lead in ISAF since its inception - the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands. President Karzai expressed his optimism about the future of his country, and assured Lord Robertson of the support and cooperation of the Afghan people in the task of spreading security and stability.

During the discussion, President Karzai repeated his earlier requests for NATO to consider as soon as possible the extension of ISAF operations beyond Kabul. Lord Robertson undertook to convey this message to the North Atlantic Council, which was in the early stages of considering the options and implications of such a move. President Karzai also asked for NATO and Partnership for Peace nations to consider providing wider assistance under the ISAF mandate, including police, army and administrative training.

At the end of their meeting, President Karzai said that he hoped to be able to brief the North Atlantic Council in person before the end of the year. Lord Robertson commented: "I am delighted that President Karzai has confirmed that NATO soldiers in Kabul are doing an excellent job, and that the Afghan people welcome their presence. That was certainly my impression in Kabul last week. NATO is committed to ensuring that Afghanistan is a success story."

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