Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement at the start of the Loya Jirga (grand assembly) in the Afghan capital Kabul:
“We are on the home straight of the withdrawal of international combat troops from Afghanistan. The next phase in Afghanistan’s development post‑2014 now needs to be prepared as well as possible.
We welcome the consultations on this in the Loya Jirga, which was convened by President Karzai. How Germany and the international community can engage in Afghanistan after 2014 will depend on the decisions that they make.
It is my hope that the life experience and wisdom of the participants, who come from all sectors of Afghan society, will enable them to pave the way to a peaceful future.”