Foreign affairs minister visits Afghanistan

Foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen began a short visit to Afghanistan on Thursday, reports ANP news service.

He will be holding talks with president Hamid Karzai and Sima Samar of the independent Afghan human rights organisation AIHRC about the treatment of prisoners and human rights, says ANP.
The minister will also raise the question of capital punishment, media law and the low number of police officers in Uruzgan province with the president.
He will be asking the AIHRC not only to visit prisoners in the capital Kabul but also in Uruzgan, says ANP. ‘We want to avoid any possibility of abuse and independent monitoring is vital,’ he told ANP.
Verhagen is accompanied by his Slovakian colleague Jan Kubis and the Slovakian defence minister Jaroslav Baska. Slovakia is a new partner with the Netherlands and recently pledged to send 250 soldiers to Uruzgan. The Netherlands has some 1,700 soldiers in the province.

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