The United Kingdom has bared its expectations from fellow participants to a major international conference on Afghanistan to be held July 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
Returning from a two-day trip to Afghanistan, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said the Asian country’s international partners should make long-term commitments to the beleaguered nation for at least until 2017. He urged donors to follow the lead of the United Kingdom, which he said will sustain its current funding levels of 178 million pounds ($278.5 million) annually for the next five years.
But Afghanistan should also make “credible progress” on key governance and economic reforms if it is to enjoy continued international support, the minister stressed. Among priority areas he identified are the fight against corruption, cleaning up of the Kabul Bank issue, promotion of women’s rights and private investments, and preparations for the country’s 2014 elections.
The United Kingdom is prepared to support Afghanistan through 2025 if the government continues to deliver on these reforms, Mitchell hinted, according to the Department for International Development.
Participants to the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan are expected to sign a “mutual accountability framework” detailing their obligations to each other. Topics on the table include Afghanistan’s request for more budget support and aid commitments through 2014.
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