UN envoy disappointed over EU role in Afghanistan

February 19th, 2009 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Oslo, Feb 19 (DPA) The UN special envoy to Afghanistan expressed disappointment Thursday over the European Union’s (EU) efforts to train more police officers in Afghanistan and improve Afghanistan’s justice system.
“I had hoped the EU would have been more active at an earlier stage,” UN envoy Kai Eide said in an interview Thursday with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“A year ago they said they would raise the number of police trainers from 200 to 400, but I believe they still have not reached 200,” Eide added.

“It is a pity that the Americans have had to carry the main burden for this too,” he said.

Afghanistan is one of the issues NATO defence ministers were expected to discuss at a two-day meeting in Poland opening Thursday. Eide, a Norwegian national, was due to attend the Krakow meeting.

The UN envoy said he planned to call for greater coordination between countries contributing forces and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and that Afghanistan’s own considerations should be taken into account.

“Countries often support programmes in what they regard as “their” provinces, where they have deployed forces. They don’t consider if this is in line with Afghan plans,” Eide said.

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