Afghanistan welcomes Norwegian UN envoy

The Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide has been named the new UN envoy to Afghanistan, a move welcomed by the Afghan government according to the Reuters news agency.

The Norwegian’s new job is to organise international efforts to develop the region and thereby curtail Taliban activity in Afghanistan.

The appointment must be confirmed by the Security Council which is expected to take place next week. The nomination has been a difficult one, with the Afghan government contending with the United States and others over which diplomat would takeover and coordinate between UN, NATO forces and the government.

Humayun Hamidzada, the spokesperson for the Afghan president, said: “We look forward to working with Mr. Eide. He has been the key person in the Norwegian government focusing on Afghanistan, so he has the knowledge of the country, he has the international experience and the backing of the United Nations and all the major players and the Afghan government supports his appointment.”

It has been six years since a force led by Americans entered Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban government. However, troops from both Afghanistan and NATO are still fighting Taliban forces within the country.

Many Afghans are growing frustrated with the slow progress, particularly as there are a large number of nations with troops in their country, around 40, and a bewildering array of UN agencies.

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