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1. The Foreign Ministers of the G8, Afghanistan and Pakistan came together today to reiterate their strong commitment to security, stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. They recalled the commitments made in the Afghanistan Compact in January 2006. Continued support of the international community to the region is a vital element in the global fight against terrorism and for the promotion of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and economic growth and opportunity.
2. They underlined their common interest in working together to promote peace, security and development in the region and stressed the need for the international community to support this objective.
3. In this context, the Foreign Ministers of the G8 recalled the Kabul Declaration of Good Neighbourly Relations of 22 December 2002 and their statement of 23 June 2005. They commended the joint Peace and Security Jirgas (gatherings) between Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the commitments Afghanistan and Pakistan have taken on in the "Ankara Declaration" on 30 April 2007 to enhance their cooperation and combine their efforts to enhance the security and prosperity of their peoples. They also appreciated the Government of Pakistan's offer to host the next meeting of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA).
4. The Foreign Ministers of the G8, Afghanistan and Pakistan reinforced their commitment in the fight against all dimensions of terrorism and stressed the vital importance of security for long-term reconstruction and development in the region and in Afghanistan in particular. They further committed to continue supporting moderation, fighting all forms of extremism and terrorism, including its financial, training and ideological centres through mutually agreed and coordinated action.
5. They highlighted the connection in the region between terrorism, drug-trafficking, and organized crime, and emphasized their determination for concerted efforts by all concerned parties to combat these menaces.
6. The Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan renewed their Governments' commitment to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between their countries and governments at all levels, in particular in the field of security, refugee issues, economic development and increased contacts between civil societies.
7. The members of the G8 commit themselves to work closely with the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan in support of their endeavour through concrete projects and targeted assistance in various fields.
8. The Foreign Ministers of the G8 highlighted the importance of practical cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan in matters of security concerns they share as neighbours.
9. They reiterated the importance of long-term and sustainable development and towards that end of joint initiatives in the economic field, reconstruction, agriculture, enhanced regional trade with appropriate import and export controls and transport links between Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as to other neighbouring countries, in particular those in Central and South Asia. They underlined the importance of engaging and developing the private sector, including through financial and technological assistance, to help build a vibrant local economy and the necessary infrastructure.
10. They commended the UNHCR and the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan for their important work towards a repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. They stressed the commitment of the G8 to helping with arrangements towards enhancing the sustainability of return and pledged to further assist and complement already ongoing efforts in particular by helping to improve conditions for returnees in Afghanistan and in refugee-impacted areas in Pakistan.
11. Likewise they highlighted the importance of promoting increased contacts between civil societies as a further confidence building measure between Afghanistan and Pakistan and offered to support stronger interaction between political representatives, parliamentarians, the media, universities, as well as contacts in the field of sports and civil society at large.
12. They underlined that the G8 will build on and work with existing UN, regional and bilateral mechanisms to support Afghanistan and Pakistan and that as a follow-up to the initiative concrete projects will be identified and further pursued by the G8 in close consultation and in agreement with Afghanistan and Pakistan. To this effect, an expert meeting is to be convened at an early date with the task of specifying the projects in detail. A final list of projects is to be evaluated and endorsed at a meeting in Berlin in autumn.
Source: Auswärtiges Amt
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