Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Kabul.Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Kabul

Norway in Afghanistan - Introduction

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Afghanistan was established in Kabul in December 2001, originally as a two-person mission. As a reflection of Afghanistan’s importance on the global political agenda, our engagement grew substantially, with strengthened military presence through ISAF and increasing humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

The Norwegian military contribution in Afghanistan was part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which concluded its mission at the end of 2014. The afghans have now themselves taken over the complete responsibility for security in Afghanistan, and the NATO presence is scaled back to training, advising and assisting afghan forces through the Resolute Support Mission (RSM). Norway has ended its military engagement outside Kabul, and is now active in capacity building of Afghan police units.

Stability, reconstruction and economic and social progress in Afghanistan cannot be achieved by military means alone. Norway has supported humanitarian aid and development in Afghanistan for the past thirty years. Until the fall of the Taliban, this support was channelled through the United Nations, the Afghanistan Support Group and non-governmental organisations.Today, Afghanistan is one of the countries that receive the most development aid from Norway.

At the Tokyo conference on Afghanistan in July 2012, Norway committed itself to maintain its development assistance at the present level of 750 mill kroner per year (approximately USD 125 million), at least until 2017. A strategic partnership agreement between Norway and Afghanistan was signed by President Karzai and Prime Minister Stoltenberg in Oslo in February 2013.The agreement expresses mutual commitments.  Continued Norwegian assistance at the same high levels will be contingent on further progress being made on the agreed commitments.

Norway has selected three main focus areas for its development aid to Afghanistan: good governance, education and rural development. Human rights, strengthening of women’s position and combating corruption are other focus areas. In addition, Norway has a broad humanitarian engagement in Afghanistan. Norwegian aid is channelled through the UN, the World Bank and Norwegian and international NGOs.

The first Norwegian resident ambassador to Afghanistan, H. E. Mr. Jan Erik Leikvang, took up his post in October 2004. Since September 2016, the ambassador of Norway to Afghanistan is H. E. Ms. Mari Skåre.

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