President Karzai heads to France on four-day state visit
Kabul, October 2, 2005 (Pajhwok Afghan News) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday left for France for talks with his host counterpart Jacques Chirac on the fight against terrorism, Afghanistanâ€™s new parliament and continued reconstruction assistance for the war-battered country.
A presidential spokesman said during the four-day trip President Kazai will meet Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Defence Minister Michel Alliot Marie, Foreign Minister Phiilippe Douste Blazy, Senate head Christian Poncelet, National Assembly speaker Edouard Balladur and National Council Jeanlouis Debre.
The visiting president will address the National Council, the International Relations Institute and the UNESCO Headquarters on Afghanistanâ€™s achievements, its future challenges and relations with Europe and France.
In meetings with French authorities, the spokesman said in a statement, Karzai would discuss bilateral relations, the continuation of Frances assistance to Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism and the establishment of Afghanistans parliament.
President Karzai was accompanied by several ministers including Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Sayed Makhdoom Rahin, Transport Minister Enayatullah Qasemi, national security advisor Zalmay Rasul and Jawed Ludin, chief of staff to the president.
During his first foreign visit after the September 18 parliamentary elections, President Karzai is expected to urge the French government not to abandon Afghanistan after the implementation of the Bonn Accord because the reconstruction effort has not yet come to an end.
On Tuesday, President Karzai will deliver a speech to French Parliament before attending the UNESCO general assembly on Wednesday. France has been one of the major supporters of Afghanistan's reconstruction and the post-Taliban political process