An international conference has endorsed Afghan President Hamid Karzai's plan for Afghan forces to take charge of their country's security by 2014.
During Tuesday's gathering in Kabul,
representatives from more than 60 countries and organizations also backed
President Karzai's call for the international community to channel at least 50
percent of development aid through the Afghan government. More than $40 billion
has been spent on Afghanistan since 2001.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told delegates that the United States is encouraged by work the Afghan government has done to improve governance and combat corruption, but said much work remains.
The final communiqué of the one-day conference endorses a number of Afghan initiatives aimed at giving the country more control of its security and development, including a plan to reintegrate Taliban fighters who lay down their arms, renounce al-Qaida and accept the constitution.
Some 150,000 U.S.-led NATO troops are working to drive Taliban insurgents out of their strongholds.
Despite massive security for the conference, rockets fired at the Kabul airport Tuesday forced the diversion of a plane carrying U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Sweden's foreign minister.
Secretary-General Ban, who co-hosted the conference with President Karzai, called for the Afghan people to achieve peace through reconciliation and build a future based on economic development. He also urged the Afghan government to protect human rights and hold those responsible for rights violations accountable.
Both the U.N. chief and Secretary Clinton also pressed the Afghan government to ensure respect for the rights of women.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
Source: Press TV
At the international conference on Afghanistan,
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki outlines Tehran's solutions to the
Speaking at an international conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday, Mottaki called for a regional solution to the Afghanistan crisis and blamed growing insecurity and drug trafficking on foreign military presence in the war-ravaged country.
During his speech, he outlined five Iranian proposals to bring back stability to Afghanistan. He said that any solution to the Afghan crisis needs to take into account the following issues:
1) The Afghan Constitution is the greatest achievement of the country and hence needs to set the criterion for any measures to be taken in the country. Besides that, the process of government formation and the reinforcement of civil institutions should be supported by the international community.
2) The presence and increase of foreign forces will not help the situation in Afghanistan. Afghan people and government need to be trusted and a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces should be set as well.
3) A double standard policy on fighting terrorism has to be avoided.
4) Security and development are two inseparable factors; hence the reconstruction of Afghanistan and its infrastructures should become the focus of more attention. In doing so, Iran continues to contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and welcomes other countries' participation as well.
5) Regional cooperation needs to be supported as the proper approach to the issue. Iran for its part continues to hold regional meetings on Afghanistan and expects other non-regional countries to support the move. Iran believes that increased regional cooperation in transportation, energy and other sectors will contribute to development in Afghanistan.
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