Our office in Kabul – the opening

On 31st July 2017 it was time: the DAGeV office in the diplomatic district Wazir Akbar Khan in Kabul celebrated its official opening. An important moment for the German-Afghan Society and for German-Afghan relations. Numerous government and economic representatives as well as initiatives and associations followed the invitation of the DAGeV – and contributed to the guestbook. In the end, there were over 100 guests who, with their presence, not only celebrated the opening of the new DAGeV representation in Afghanistan, but also set a clear signal with their arrival.

An important date, an important sign

Two months before the opening, a devastating attack took place in the immediate vicinity of the German Embassy, who demanded 150 death sacrifices. It was therefore all the more important not to postpone the official opening of the Kabul office and to send a message with it: Terror can not intimidate us! The German-Afghan cooperation itself is gaining in importance only these days and especially in times when terrorist forces are trying to destroy the further stabilisation of the country.

This was also emphasized by Khyal Mohammad Mohammad Khan in his address. The first deputy of the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan made clear the importance for the Afghan government of German-Afghan relations and thus also the work of DAGeV. He also spoke in the name of the Afghan President, Asharf Ghani, as well as in the name of his counter-candidate for the 2014 presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah.

Due to the still very tight security situation in Kabul, also after May 31st, there were further attacks, unfortunately members of the Federal Government could not attend the opening of the DAGeV office unfortunately. But also in Germany it is known how important the social and economic cooperation between the Federal Republic and Afghanistan is. Thus, different Bundestag delegates and government staff sent their greetings – read and videotaped – to the opening to Kabul and thus put a hope-giving sign in their turn. Among them was Sabine Sparwasser, Special Representative of the German Government for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Discussions in small circle in the government palace

Khyal Mohammad Mohammad Khan accepted the invitation to the DAGeV office on his part to invite the delegation of the German-Afghan Society. And this invitation was also put into action the next day. In the government palace one met in a smaller circle than the day before at the office opening. The primary focus of the talks was on the economic cooperation between the two countries and on the current security situation in Afghanistan.

For a peaceful coexistence

The DAGeV is also committed to peaceful and democratic coexistence. The role of women in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as the freedom of the press are important concerns of the German-Afghan Society. In Kabul the DAGeV delegation therefore also met with various women’s associations – amongst others with the Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The AWCCI is almost the female side of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). It has established itself in order to give the woman’s voice sufficient weight to the economic life of the country.

There was also a meeting with the chairmen of the four Afghan journalists’ associations. A special concern as well for the DAGeV media officer, who is also member of the regional board of directors and chairman of the regional association Essen-Mülheim-Oberhausen in the German Association of Journalists NRW.