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Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, made a working visit to Finland on 29 April 2013. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö engaged in official talks with President Karzai at the Government Banquet Hall on Monday 29 April 2013. The talks focused on relations between Finland and Afghanistan, general developments in Afghanistan and regional issues.
A partnership agreement between Finland and Afghanistan extending to 2024 was signed during the visit. Finland undertakes to support the rule of law and sustainable development in Afghanistan.
Finland has been supporting stability and development in Afghanistan since 2002 and is prepared to continue, said President Niinistö at the press conference held in connection with the visit. President Niinistö stressed the importance of human rights, democracy, education and improving the status of women. Development funding provided by Finland to Afghanistan will increase to EUR 30 million per year after 2014.
President Karzai noted that Finland has the best education system in the world. He said he is sure that Finland will provide all the help necessary for Afghanistan to apply Finland’s model for the benefit of their people. President Karzai further noted that, apart from education, mining technology is of particular interest for Afghanistan.
During the working visit, President Karzai also met Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Speaker of Parliament Eero Heinäluoma.