The West has signalled that Afghanistan can count on continued support after allied troops withdraw in 2014. International delegates met in the German city of Bonn for a conference on the future of country ten years after a similar meeting was held after the Taliban were ousted.
But Afghanistan’s allies are increasingly preparing for a a scenario in which there is no peace settlement with the Taliban in place before withdrawal.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Afghanistan would not be abandoned:
“Credible, mutual committments between Afghanistan and the international community lay the foundation of a new partnership for Afghanistan and the national engagement in and for Afghanistan will continue beyond 2014. At the same time the Afghan government will continue to improve governance, strengthen the rule of law and fight corruption.”
The aim is to leave behind an Afghanistan strong enough to avoid the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor which collapsed into civil war.
Itis estimated that at least 7 billion dollars a year are needed up until 2020 if Afghanistan is to keep up current levels of development.
No new financial pledges have been made at the conference. Sources indicated that such decisions could be put off until another meeting in Tokyo next June.