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Surging violence, civilian casualties run counter to peace talks; Norway

AT News

KABUL: Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with the Norwegian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mr. Ole Andreas Lindeman.

At the outset, Atmar expressed his appreciation of the Norway’s continued support and commitment to the Afghan peace process and its cooperation with Afghanistan over the past 19 years, foreign ministry said in a statement.

Both sides then exchanged views on the latest developments in the peace process including the mechanism to monitor reduction in violence, strengthening and consolidating regional consensus on peace talks and the importance of preserving the gains of past two decades.

Ambassador Lindeman called for a reduction in violence, saying that the high level of violence, including the alarming levels of civilian casualties and recent attacks are not conducive to the success of the peace talks.

The Norwegian Ambassador spoke about the review of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two countries, especially about the expansion of economic cooperation within the framework of the SPA. He also referred to his country’s interest in investing in the infrastructure, renewable energy and industrial sectors and the role of Norwegian Public Investment Fund in implementing projects.

In closing, while emphasizing further strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, Minister Atmar appreciated the Norwegian Ambassador’s proposal to review the SPA and Norway’s support to the Afghan peace process.

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