Quarterly Country Update Issue 41 January 2012

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2011 at a Glance: Afghanistan completed yet another challenging year. During 2011, security conditions across the country remained volatile with an increase in number of suicide attacks, mainly targeting influential Afghan personalities, including former President and Head of Peace High Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Politically, 2011 was a year of opportunity for the Afghan Government. Ten years after the first Afghanistan Conference in Bonn in 2001, a second Bonn Conference on Afghanistan was held on December 5, 2011. It brought together international partners to lay the foundation for a permanent democratic government in Afghanistan. At the end of the Conference, participants adopted a strategic consensus on deepening and broadening the partnership between Afghanistan and the International Community.

In November 2011 more than 2,000 delegates from all walks of Afghan life gathered in Kabul to discuss a potential strategic partnership with the US and other Western countries. The approval of 2000 tribal elders and social and political representatives of the advisory traditional Loya Jirga is a testament to Afghanistan’s desire to form a long term strategic partnership with the United States. It also highlighted the fact that the Afghan people recognized the need for a long term commitment by the international community to their country as an important factor for promoting peace and security in Afghanistan and in the region.