Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Karzai calls for renewed commitment on Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai today urged developed countries and

international aid agencies to renew their commitment to rebuilding the economy

of his war-ravaged country.

Karzai told an international conference on Afghanistan that the tasks of

reconstructing his country and restoring peace to the region remained largely

unfinished.

``To those of our partners who may be pondering their continued involvement in

Afghanistan, I say the job is not over and the stakes are still very high,''

Karzai told leaders from around 19 countries who gathered in India's capital New

Delhi for the two-day conference on Afghanistan.

Karzai described extremism and terrorism as the twin challenges to peace in

the region, and stressed the need for international military forces in

Afghanistan.

``To win this war (on international terrorism), we need the enduring

partnership of solid and unwavering allies,'' he said.

Fighting extremism needs collective effort, Karzai said, possibly in an

indirect reference to neighbouring Pakistan, where the Afghan government says

Taliban militants stay. At least 3,700 Afghans have been killed this year in

attacks carried out by Taliban rebels.

The conference has brought together Afghanistan's neighbours, including

Pakistan, Iran and China, and members of the G8 group of industrialised

nations.

``I hope the conference will bring to Afghanistan what we so badly need:

assistance, investment and lasting stability,'' Karzai said.

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