SOM Should Increase Aid to Afghanistan: Experts

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Referring to the political and economic significance of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on Afghanistan, which was held in Kabul on Saturday, some Afghan political commentators and economic experts said that the meeting was a necessary platform for dialogue and cooperation between Afghanistan and its international partners to share common practices and expertise on the implementation of programs recommended by both the government and the international community.

According to economists, the next meeting of SOM is scheduled next year in the Belgian capital Brussels in which delegates will review the continued international aid to Afghanistan.

In today’s meeting, the Afghan officials briefed representatives of the international community attending the meeting on a number of areas it has worked on such as good governance, fighting corruption, protection of human rights, women empowerment and economic development.

It is hoped that international delegates might pledge further aid to Afghanistan after reviewing measures taken by the National Unity Government to rebuild the country.

“The important issue is that the government should benefit from the meeting and attend the next meeting in 2016 with more achievements,” deputy head of Rights and Justice Party, Moeen Marastyal, said.

The SOM conference is the first such meeting with donors to take place in Afghanistan following the inauguration of the National Unity Government at the end of last year.

“Unlike other meetings, Afghan government should come with more inclusive recommendations on their projects which are implementable and which could be of benefit to the public. Projects which can leverage people’s economic prosperity,” former minister of commerce Mohammad Amin Farhang said.

“I think it is an important meeting and the committee members’ decisions should be put into practice. Government must abide by the commitments and parliament must oversee them so that opportunities aren’t wasted,” MP Nazir Ahmadzai said.

At the London Conference on Afghanistan in 2014, the international community reaffirmed their financial and technical cooperation to Afghanistan post-2014.

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