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The International Contact Group on Afghanistan meets at the Federal Foreign Office

10.02.2016 - Article

The International Contact Group on Afghanistan (ICG) met at the Federal Foreign Office in February 2016. Delegates from over 60 countries and international organisations discussed the further involvement of the international community in Afghanistan with members of the Afghan Government.

State Secretary Markus Ederer opened the Contact Group meeting
State Secretary Markus Ederer opened the Contact Group meeting© Federal Foreign Office

A year of big decisions for Afghanistan

Numerous countries and organisations are actively engaged in trying to bring stability to Afghanistan. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission concluded in 2014, and was succeeded in January 2015 by NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM), the focus of which is on training, advising and supporting Afghan decision-makers. Germany is actively involved in this mission, but is also concentrating on civilian reconstruction.

The ICG is a forum for political coordination with respect to the multifaceted civilian and security assistance provided by the international community in the country. The meeting at the Federal Foreign Office was particularly important in the run‑up to the NATO summit to be held in Warsaw this July and the Afghanistan Conference in Brussels in October, since key decisions on the way ahead in Afghanistan stand to be taken in 2016. The meeting’s agenda included not only the security situation, but also corruption, national reconciliation, economic development and migration.

Representatives from more than 60 countries and organisations attended the meeting
Representatives from more than 60 countries and organisations attended the meeting© Federal Foreign Office

Reconciliation and reform

In his welcoming address, State Secretary Ederer stressed how crucial the peace process in Afghanistan would be. Even if it was hard for some people to accept, the reconciliation process was the only way to achieve a sustainable solution to the conflict. The Taliban were now faced with a choice: either to pursue the path of violence and compete with Da’esh in brutality, or, with the change in leadership, to pursue their interests by political means.

Ederer commented as follows on Germany’s position:

As for Germany, we are marking 100 years of friendship with Afghanistan, we have made a long-term commitment, and we will continue our support, especially in this critical phase.

But, as he also said, Afghanistan needed to stand on its own two feet. No government could be asked to pay for the reconstruction of the country if significant goals in fighting corruption and impunity had not been met. It was thus crucial for the Afghan leadership to implement the agreed political and economic reforms.

Find out more

Meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan in Jeddah - Chair’s Summary (28.02.2017)

State Secretary Ederer’s speech in full

Chair's Summary of the International Contact Group Meeting (Berlin, 3 February 2016) PDF / 33 KB

Afghanistan Country Profile

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