Joint communique issued by the President of the French Republic and the President of Afghanistan.


Paris, 3 October 2005

The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the President of the French Republic reaffirm today their attachment to the long-standing and deep friendship between Afghanistan and France, a friendship that the adversity encountered in the past has reinforced. They commit themselves to consolidating and deepening their relationship.

The visit of President Hamid Karzai, at the invitation of President Chirac, illustrates the importance that both countries want to give to their partnership at a time when Afghanistan is completing her transition towards the establishment of stable and democratic political institutions.

France welcomes the resolve of both the Afghan government and people in the rebuilding of a strong, viable and pacified Afghanistan, fully integrated into the international community. France pays a special tribute to Afghan women, who were the principal victims of intolerance and who continuously demonstrated their determination to contribute to Afghanistan's recovery, and their courage in asserting their political rights.

The general and regional elections of 18 September mark the end of the political transition process launched in 2001 at the Bonn-Petersberg Conference. Remarkable progress has been accomplished by Afghanistan in this framework, thanks to the efforts of a united international community alongside the Afghan people. Afghanistan and France welcome the remarkable work carried out by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under NATO command.

Afghanistan and France acknowledge that many problems remain and that the international community must continue to back the Afghan government and people's efforts to consolidate their security, establish the rule of law, promote the principles of good governance and speed up Afghanistan's development, notably by eliminating the economy's dependency upon drugs and other illegal activities. France intends to mobilize so that Afghanistan can very soon take full control of her development and her security.

Afghanistan and France call on the countries that signed the Declaration on Good-Neighbourly Relations of 22 December 2002 and the Berlin Declaration on Counter-Narcotics of 1 April 2004 to continue their cooperation with Afghanistan, in particular in the field of counter-narcotics. Afghanistan and France invite all the countries involved to take an active part in the follow-up of the Paris Pact on Drug Routes. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan is in everyone's interest.

President Jacques Chirac reaffirmed France's continued commitment in Afghanistan. France and Afghanistan confirmed their will to deepen their cooperation in the following fields:

consolidating democracy, the rule of law, protection of civil rights and individual freedoms. France has agreed to coordinate international efforts to set up the new Parliament, in particular with the training of the future parliamentary staffers. This project is seeing exemplary cooperation between the French government and parliament with the Afghan authorities, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and all the other partners in the international community, especially the European Union. France will continue to support the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and of the Afghan Independent Commission for Human Rights, especially those activities in favour of women's rights.

establishing a lasting peace: France will continue, alongside the Afghans and her partners, to fight terrorism and contribute to the country's stabilization. France plans to shoulder new responsibilities by taking over the command of ISAF for the Kabul region in 2006. France will continue her efforts to train the Afghan National Army, which will safeguard the country's independence, stability and unity.

reconstructing the country: France will give priority to cooperation projects that will eventually enable the Afghan government on its own to ensure Afghanistan's development and address the legitimate expectations of Afghan people after 30 years of destruction. Afghanistan and France decided to continue their cooperation in the following fields: health, training of a competent public administration, education, economic development (notably by continuing their cooperation in the development of alternative crops), training of counter-narcotics police, culture, and heritage conservation. In addition, in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Afghanistan, priority will go to: strengthening human capital, particularly in the provinces, improving the situation of the most vulnerable population groups, such as women and children, and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons.

President Hamid Karzai and President Jacques Chirac agreed to maintain a regular political dialogue on all these issues.

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