Společné prohlášení francouzského a afghánského prezidenta [fr]
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC AND MR HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN
Elysée Palace – Friday 27 January 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Minister of Defence,
This is the fourth occasion on which we have met with President Karzai, for whom we have great esteem and respect. We have spoken at length of the tragedy in Gwan, where the cowardly murder of four French soldiers took place.
This is what President Karzai and I have agreed today:
Firstly: Taliban infiltration into the Afghan army, the cause of the tragic deaths of our soldiers, is an extremely serious, and previously underestimated, threat.
All its implications must be considered, with a detailed review of the conditions in which the training mission is being carried out, in addition to decisive reinforcement of the security of our troops.
President Karzai has given a commitment to make every possible effort to achieve this, for which I want to thank him. Our Defence Ministers have been tasked with implementing the extra protective measures that have been determined.
We will ask NATO to examine as a matter of urgency the issue of infiltration into the Afghan army and police, as it affects our entire transfer strategy to Afghan forces and concerns all the Allies.
Having received the assurances we requested, the training missions performed by French military personnel will resume tomorrow.
Secondly, President Karzai, for which I thank him, has assured me that responsibility for Kapisa Province, where the French contingent is based, will be transferred to Afghan forces as of next March.
Thirdly, in mutual agreement with President Karzai, we have decided to ask NATO to consider transferring full responsibility for NATO combat missions to the Afghan army during 2013.
The French government will table a proposal for this at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting on 2-3 February next.
For France, continuation of the transition and the gradual transfer of combat responsibilities will enable us to plan for the return of all our combat troops by the end of 2013.
Our troops have been returning since the NATO Summit in November 2010.
Last year, 400 soldiers returned to France.
By the end of 2012, given the progress achieved on the transition, and in agreement with President Karzai, a further 1,000 troops will leave Afghanistan.
After the withdrawal of our combat troops, France will continue to be involved in training Afghan soldiers, subject to the security conditions to which I have already referred.
Lastly, we have recently signed a treaty between France and Afghanistan.
This treaty lays down arrangements for bilateral cooperation between our two countries in areas essential to the future development of Afghanistan: agriculture, health, education, institutions and infrastructure.
This is the concrete expression of France’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan. We support Afghan democracy.
A new chapter is now beginning for the Afghan people in which civilian and development projects will gradually take over from our military presence.
For example, we area already working on the French mother and child hospital in Kabul, on the creation of a network of high schools for agricultural training, on a partnership between our geological services to develop Afghanistan’s considerable mining resources and on support for the creation of an Afghan gendarmerie.
It is clear that the future of French-Afghan cooperation will be one of civil, economic, diplomatic and political cooperation. Our military cooperation will be through logistical and training support. We remain engaged alongside our Afghan friends, but the security of Afghanistan - which is our desire, we believe that it is in their interests and it is also President Karzai’s conviction - is first and foremost a matter for the Afghans.
Thank you, Mr President.
MR HAMID KARZAI:
Thank you my friend, Mr President Sarkozy, Mr Prime Minister, Ministers, Ambassadors, thank you for your welcome and for this extremely useful meeting.
Mr President, before I speak of the issues which we have discussed, I would like to pass on the condolences and sympathy of the people of Afghanistan to France following the death of the four French soldiers. The Afghan people are grateful to the people of France for their years of unfailing support. France stepped forward and showed that it was prepared to help our country with concrete resources and also through the sacrifice of Larbi, young men and women.
Mr President, this is a testament to France’s commitment to Afghanistan and today by signing this friendship treaty for the future, France has renewed its commitment to Afghanistan in the areas which you have just described.
Yes, Mr President, it is true that Afghanistan must take responsibility for its own security, for protecting its people as well as for organizing discipline. Afghanistan has received this assistance over the last few years, and as a result it has increasingly been able to manage its own affairs. Responsibility has already been transferred for 50% of the population, and this transition will continue until the end of 2013 and at the latest 2014, as was agreed.
President Sarkozy and I also discussed the transfer of authority in Kapisa Province which will begin in March of this year, following which France will continue its action in the form of providing support and training activities. Mr President, Afghanistan recognises this friendship which has bound it to France for almost a century – ours is a long-standing relationship, and France’s commitment to Afghanistan bears witness to this.
During our meeting, it was clear to us that we were in agreement. We agree on the points set out by President Sarkozy, and upon my return to Kabul, I can assure you that I will set about implementing these measures.
Once again, Mr Sarkozy, I would like to thank you for France’s generous support in the areas of education and health as well as your economic and military support. Afghanistan is grateful to you and will always remain so./.