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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1865

Ms MARINO (ForrestGovernment Whip) (10:01): I present the report of the Australian Parliamentary Delegation to Afghanistan from 28 April to 1 May 2013. This visit was the first official delegation of Australian parliamentarians to be received by the National Assembly of Afghanistan. The visit to the seat of government in Kabul represented a historic shift in Australia's bilateral relationship with Afghanistan. The main aim of the delegation's visit was to strengthen the relationship between the parliaments of Afghanistan and Australia and, as part of this, a long-term commitment to friendship between our nations and to regional security and development. The aims were to obtain a greater appreciation of Afghanistan's governance and development challenges, something we heard a lot about; to assess the effectiveness of Australia's current trade and aid related programs and supports; and to establish a firm bond of trust for future parliamentary and intergovernment engagement for the future.