19 July 2012 by TOLOnews.com
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a deal on Thursday to build a British-style officers' academy in Afghanistan.
Cameron said in a press conference on Thursday that the deal was part of Britain's continuing commitment to development aid beyond 2014, when UK combat troops will leave as international operations end.
"We brought up the idea of opening a military academy to train Afghan officers which will be governed by the UK officials. I am happy to sign an agreement with President Karzai and hope that this could be a long term assistance to Afghanistan," Cameron said.
"I had an effective conversation with President Karzai about bringing stability to Afghanistan because a stable, secure and democratic Afghanistan is for the benefit all of us. We will try hard to prevent the country from turning to a terrorism haven and we will work together to achieve this goal," he added.
Karzai welcomed the agreement and said that such an Academy will be very important for training of the Afghan military officers.
"British Prime Minister promised this two years ago and he fulfilled it today by signing the agreement. The establishment of the Academy has a positive role for the capacity building of the Afghan forces," Karzai said at the press briefing.
Cameron and Karzai will also meet with Pakistan's new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who travelled to Kabul Thursday.
It will be Karzai's first meeting with Ashraf, and it is expected to focus on discussions over securing a peace deal with the Taliban and an end to cross-border support for insurgents.
At the press conference, Cameron urged Karzai and Ashraf to "work together to achieve a secure and stable Afghanistan."
It comes as Nato begins the troop drawdown from Afghanistan, set to end in 2014.
Cameron arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday, landing in the southern city of Lashkar Gar, capital of Helmand province, where British forces are based.
He met with provincial officials including the police chief and acting governor to discuss the transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force after the United States.