28 January 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met at Chequers today, where they signed an Enduring Strategic Partnership between the UK and Afghanistan.
The Partnership is a symbol of the UK and Afghanistan’s shared vision for a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan able to maintain its own security and to prevent the country from again being used as a safe haven for international terrorists. It reaffirms both countries’ commitment to peace, democracy and respect for human rights, and sets out our agreement to continue to cooperate on political dialogue, security, governance, development, and cultural links.
The signing of the Partnership builds on the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn last year, where the international community sent a strong message of commitment to Afghanistan’s long-term future. It shows that the UK will have a wide-ranging relationship with Afghanistan which will continue beyond the transition of security control to Afghan forces and the drawdown of international combat troops at the end of 2014.
Speaking from Chequers, the Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"The build-up of the Afghan National Army and Afghan Police Force is very much on target and that is going to be one of the keys to the future stability and security of Afghanistan. We also want to have a long-term relationship with Afghanistan long after our combat troops have come home and that will happen at the end of 2014. We will have a long-term relationship that will be based on the friendship of two sovereign nations. That will be a relationship about diplomacy, about aid, about trade, about investment and about very strong two-way diplomatic ties and conversations like we've been having today."
President Hamid Karzai thanked the Prime Minister and the people of Britain for their help in creating a better, more secure Afghanistan. He said:
"The signature today, of the agreement between us towards long-term relationship, will take us into a future where Afghanistan will benefit from the assistance and cooperation and help of Britain towards becoming a fundamentally strong democratic state free of terrorism and economically better off."
Read the full news story on the Foreign Office website
Read a transcript of the press conference on the Number 10 website
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David Cameron and Hamid Karzai sign the Strategic Partnership at Chequers
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