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Bildt urges civilian changes in Afghanistan
Photo: Diana Janse/UD

Bildt urges civilian changes in Afghanistan

Published: 21 Jul 2010 09:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jul 2010 09:05 GMT+02:00

Several aircraft on their way to the conference, including Bildt's, were diverted following a terrorist attack on Tuesday.

"When we were coming in to land, there was a rocket attack," Bildt said. "We had to cancel the landing and circle around for a while and then land at the Bagram base outside Kabul. A number of hours later, we went to Kabul by helicopter."

Bildt himself was not attacked and was joined on the trip by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Taliban later wrote on its site that it had carried out the attack on the airport, the American information service Site, reported AFP.

"However, those who were standing and waiting at the airport saw it clearly. It was pretty close," he said.

When asked if he was scared, Bildt told news agency TT, "No, we interrupted the course of landing so there was no danger to us. Had we been just minutes earlier, it could have been different."

As such, Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen and her entourage were forced to fly to neighbouring Kazakhstan. The plane was not allowed to fly over Uzbek airspace and an irate Espersen returned to Copenhagen, where the Uzbek ambassador was summoned to the Danish Foreign Ministry.

At the conference in Kabul, Bildt stressed the need for the vigorous development of Afghan civil society.

"The advantage is that we are building Afghan institutions instead of us having a variety of uncoordinated projects around the country," he said. "The Ministry of Finance is among the institutions that is function relatively well, actually,"

Bildt is also cautiously hopeful about the country's economic opportunities.

"The agricultural potential in parts of the country is of course important, opium production notwithstanding" he said.

Tackle narcotics production requires profitability in other industries and Bildt believes in the development of industries such as mining and fruit growing.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:18 July 21, 2010 by Audrian
Tariff walls and subsidies by western countries are responsible for poor performance of agriculture in developing countries. Developing countries are prevented from processing their agricultural produces and exporting them to Europe and America so that multinational companies can take advantage of processing them and making considerable profit. Farmers' grow poppies, not because they like to harm the west, because they are not affected by tariff walls; and they have eager buyers in the west. Afghanistan can move out of poppy cultivation if the West simultaneously stops undercutting Afghanistan's other agricultural exports.
13:24 July 21, 2010 by Andersson
(When asked if he was scared, Bildt told news agency TT, "No..... ")

Was it a part of script?
16:26 July 21, 2010 by arslan11
Look at the women with veil in background.. If it had been the Taliban government then the headlines of western media would be

"European Ministers urged Taliban not to force women to wear hijab etc". Now Mr. Obama or Nato should be held responsible for Afghan women wearing veil and majority not going to high schools?
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