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Jawad seeks Columbia's support on terror, narcotics

Lalit K Jha - Nov 3, 2009 - 18:06

Pajhwok Afghan News

WASHINGTON (PAN): Afghan Ambassador to the US Said T Jawad on Tuesday met the Columbian President Alvaro Uribe Velez to expand security and development cooperation between the two countries .

Jawad, who also holds the charge of the Afghan Ambassador to Columbia, sought Columbias help in fighting both terrorism and counter-narcotics operations in Afghanistan .

We need Colombias assistance with deployment of your special forces to help us fight terrorism, as well as training our counter-narcotics police and the Afghan National Armys counter-narcotics battalion, Jawad specifically requested President Uribe .

He also asked for establishment of a longer-term institutional relationship between Afghanistans Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and Colombias Accion Sociala program implemented by the Office of the President of Colombia .

A key feature of Accion Social is its Center for Coordination of Integrated Action, which delivers timely integrated assistance to the affected populations in remote regions of Colombia .

Jawad also requested Colombias assistance with establishing a Counter-Narcotics Police Academy at Afghanistans Ministry of Interior, which he said would immensely help improve governance and the rule of law in the country .

President Uribe responded positively, stating that he would follow up with Colombias relevant institutions to determine how they could help Afghanistan address some of the challenges the country shares with Colombia, particularly in the critical areas of security and development .

Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari, who manages Afghanistans non-resident relations with Colombia, accompanied Ambassador Jawad in the meeting with President Uribe .

Colombian National Minister of Defense Gabriel Silva Lujan and Vice-Minister for Policy and International Affairs Sergio Jaramillo Caro invited Jawad to visit a region of Meta, which until a few years ago was under the firm control of narco-terrorists. Through integrated military, law enforcement, and development efforts, the Government of Colombia has been able to drive narco-terrorists out of several districts there .

Jawad and the accompanying Colombian officials visited Vista Hermosa, a recently liberated district, where the Ambassador met the mayor, community leaders, and local farmers. He listened to them, as they discussed the combined devastating impact of coca cultivation, drug trafficking, and violence on their lives .

Like poor sharecroppers in Afghanistan , Colombian farmers repeatedly appreciated the reestablishment of security in their district, but appealed for food aid, job opportunities, agribusiness facilities, as well as education and healthcare for their familieswhich the Government of Colombia is striving hard to provide for the destitute .

Like you, most of our farmers lack an alternative livelihood, and demand security, law enforcement, and development assistance, and we hope to provide them with such assistance in partnership with the international community, he said.



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