Expressing his gratitude to the Canadian Government for what he termed “an outstanding partnership,” the Aga Khan observed that the programmes on which the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the AKDN had worked together in Africa and South Asia could now be extended further in Central Asia. “The capacity that we have been able to build together and our joint experience,” said the Aga Khan, “can help minimise the fragility of the start-up situation in Afghanistan.”

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The Aga Khan was concluding a two day official visit at the invitation of the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada. During the course of the visit Prime Minister Chretien and the Aga Khan reviewed the extensive collaboration between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Canada over the past two decades.

Expressing his gratitude to the Canadian Government for what he termed “an outstanding partnership,” the Aga Khan observed that the programmes on which the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the AKDN had worked together in Africa and South Asia could now be extended further in Central Asia. “The capacity that we have been able to build together and our joint experience,” said the Aga Khan, “can help minimise the fragility of the start-up situation in Afghanistan.”

The Aga Khan, who just prior to his arrival in Ottawa, had met with Chairman Hamid Karzai of the Afghan Interim Administration, pointed to the need, in the process of reconstruction, to recognise the complexity of the country’s demography and to ensure that the rights of each distinct ethnic and religious group are respected. At the Tokyo Pledging Conference on Afghanistan ten days ago, the Aga Khan committed US$75 million to the reconstruction effort.

SOURCES

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