House of People Approves Agreements With Norway, Finland

Sunday, April 13, 2014
Kabul (BNA) Wolesi Jirga or the lower house of parliament on Saturday approved two agreements of strategic cooperation with Norway and Finland by majority of votes.
Abdul Qadir Zazai Watandost, a lawmaker from Kabul and Wolesi Jirga’s international affairs commission head, said the agreements were of greater benefit to the people and government.
Under the agreement reached between Afghanistan and Norway in 2012, Oslo had committed to assist Kabul in regional, development, economic, security and political sectors, he added.
Zazai said Norwegian government had also pledged to pay expenses of commute of illegal Afghan migrants based in Norway and facilitate ground for their return to their homeland.
The lawmakers also approved similar agreement with Finland. The lower house, international affairs commission deputy head, Qazi Rahila Salim, briefed her colleagues on Afghan-Finland deal. She said the pact was an important step in developing the country’s ties with Helsinki.
Under the agreement, Finland would provide 30 million euro in annual aid to Afghanistan in development sectors after 2014 for ten years, she added.
Salim said Helsinki would also cooperate in sharing experience in training of teachers, academic curriculum with education ministry as well as training and equipping of Afghan security forces.
After hearing lawmakers’ views, both agreements had been approved after speaker, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi asked lawmakers to raise their cards for endorsement of the pacts. Finally, 98 votes cast in favor and 28 against agreement with Norway, while 114 votes in favor and 12 against the agreement with Finland.

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