France offers its congratulations to the people and authorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for its 100 years of independence, a century that is part of a particularly rich history.
France means to continue its strong, longstanding relationship with Afghanistan. As far back as 1922, it stood alongside Afghans in the discovery and showcasing of their extraordinary age-old heritage. Since then, it has steadily forged ties with Afghans in every field. France has taken part in all their battles against terrorism and for freedom. It pays special tribute today to the French soldiers who spilled their blood in Afghanistan. It reaffirms its very strong condemnation of the attacks that recently plunged Afghanistan into mourning.
On this anniversary, France reaffirms its support for Afghanistan’s republican institutions that over the past 18 years have led to important gains in terms of democracy, the rule of law, and the protection of women’s and minority rights, as well as the freedom of expression and the press. The centennial of Afghan independence comes at a historic moment, with the looming prospect of inter-Afghan peace negotiations. We applaud U.S. efforts over the past year to launch such negotiations, especially with the aim of reaching a ceasefire. We hope all these negotiations will result in fair agreements and a lasting peace.
France wants to help build a stable, prosperous and democratic future for Afghanistan. That is why it is engaged in humanitarian and educational efforts, with two French schools in Kabul, as well as efforts in the areas of health and culture, and the preservation of Afghanistan’s heritage, with the assistance of the French Institute of Afghanistan and the French Archeological Delegation of Afghanistan.