MEETING OF MINISTER RADOSŁAW SIKORSKI WITH DR ZALMAI RASSOUL

The signing of a new Polish-Afghan intergovernmental agreement (the first of this rank since the 1927 Treaty) was the main focus of Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski's official visit to Afghanistan.

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While in Kabul, the chief of Poland's diplomacy met with President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, and ISAF commander Gen. John Allen.

Minister Sikorski talked with President Hamid Karzai about the situation in the region, Polish aid for Afghanistan, and bilateral relations. Poland's foreign minister declared that after pulling out its forces from Afghanistan in 2014, Poland plans to focus on training Afghan public administration officials.

The new intergovernmental agreement ("Framework Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Poland and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan") was signed during a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul. The document will serve as the new legal basis for bolstering bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic, scientific, and cultural fields. "In line with our earlier announcements, together with NATO as a whole we will be pulling out from Afghanistan. But contrary to the 1990s, we will not abandon your country. I assure you: after 2014, Poland and the EU will continue to assist you!" Minister Sikorski declared. Thanking Poland for helping to build the Afghan state and its young democracy over the last 10 years, Minister Rassoul said, "I would in particular like to thank the security forces in Ghazni and Pairing for their help. We will never forget what Poland did for us." Minister Rassoul also encouraged Polish businesses to invest in Afghanistan.

Moreover, Foreign Minister Sikorski took part in the global meeting of Afghan ambassadors. In his speech, he compared the economic and political transition in Poland and Afghanistan, in particular the role played by religion, quoting the philosophy of such figures as Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Michael Novak and John 
Paul II.

During his meeting with ISAF commander General John Allen, Minister Radosław Sikorski talked about the Afghan transition, which is due to be completed by the end of 2014.