Karzai Attends Islamic Summit After Signing Norway Pact

News - Afghanistan


President Hamid Karzai signed a long term strategic agreement with Norway on Tuesday before flying to Egypt for the Islamic summit which begins today.

The agreement signed with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in the capital Oslo Tuesday night specifies the framework for security, and economic and development cooperation between the two countries, Karzai's office said in a statement.

In a press briefing after the signing, Karzai praised Norway for its cooperation with Afghanistan during the past ten years and Stoltenberg said Norway remains committed to assist Afghanistan in military and civil sectors.

Afghanistan has signed similar agreements with the US, Italy, UK, France, Germany, Australia and India.

Karzai left shortly after the signing to attend the Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Egypt which will discuss political and economic cooperation between Islamic countries.

Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi opened the summit Wednesday, despite weeks of mass protests in Cairo and other cities against his leadership and what his critics claim are moves to strengthen the interests of his Muslim Brotherhood group.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also attending the summit and was publicly warned on Tuesday by a prominent Egyptian cleric against Shiite Iran interfering in the affairs of the mostly Sunni Gulf Arab nations.

Karzai had earlier visited London on Sunday and Monday where he met with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The three held talks with high-level government delegations from all sides to agree on stronger regional cooperation and security measures.

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