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President Karzai receives Japan's Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs

Kabul, November 20, 2006 (Office of the President) - On November 20, President Karzai received Masakazu Sekiguchi, Japan's Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Presidential Palace.

Bilateral relations, regional security, the fight against terrorism, the Jirgas on both sides of the Durrand Line, and the Second Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC) recently held in New Delhi were among the topics discussed.

The Vice-Minister conveyed a message from Shinzo Abe, Japan's new Prime Minister, to President Karzai, saying, "Though the leadership in Japan has changed, there will be no change in the policy of the Government of Japan towards Afghanistan."

"Given the historical and friendly relationship between the people of our two countries, Japan will continue to help strengthen security in Afghanistan, and to promote the growth of its economy."

Vice-Minister Sekiguchi praised Afghanistan's efforts in the fight against terrorism and called the meeting of tribal elders from both sides of the Durrand Line "effective in ensuring security."

President Karzai thanked Vice-Minister Sekiguchi for the assistance of the Japanese Government and people to implement the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) program, their participation in RECC, and the recent construction of a terminal at Kabul International Airport.

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Zalmai Rasoul, National Security Advisor.