EU's Solana says UN envoy faces "mountainous task" in Afghanistan
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said Monday that Kai Eide's experience as a Norwegian diplomat would help him face the "mountainous task" that awaits him as head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. ( dpa )
"In Afghanistan, Mr Eide will face a mountainous task in a place where considerable challenges remain," Solana said in a statement.
"In the past, he has showed leadership to solve difficult problems and I am convinced he will success in his new task. The EU will closely cooperate with him," Solana added.
Eide was appointed to his new post on Friday. He replaces Tom Koenigs of Germany, who stepped down in December after almost two years on the job.
Eide was the Norwegian ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1998 to 2002 before serving as Norwegian ambassador to NATO until 2006 when he transferred to the foreign ministry in Oslo.
In January, the former leader of the British Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown withdrew his name as envoy over objections from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The UN mission in Afghanistan has been assisting the government in Kabul to implement democratic reforms and reconstruction of the war- torn country.