Karzai makes promises at meet

2010-07-20 14:22
Kabul - Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought to convince an international conference in Kabul on Tuesday that his government could assume full leadership by 2014 and demanded greater control of aid money.

Karzai's administration is under massive Western pressure to crack down on corruption, prove that it is serious about taking responsibility for security and can ultimately face down a spiralling nine-year Taliban insurgency.

The war is killing record numbers of Western soldiers and the Taliban control large swathes of the south even as the United States leads a surge of foreign troops to 150 000 in weeks under a counter-insurgency push.

"I remain determined that our Afghan national security forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations throughout our country by 2014," Karzai told representatives from 70 organisations and states.

Thousands of Afghan police, military and security forces, backed up by Nato forces, put Kabul under security lockdown to guard against any possible Taliban attack marring the conference at the heavily protected foreign ministry.

Karzai said the international community had committed enough money to see Afghanistan through the next three years and called for greater control of the multi-billion-dollar aid budget for his impoverished country.

Only 20% of funds channelled


"We all agree that steady transition to Afghan leadership and ownership is the key to sustainability," he said.

"We are pleased that the international community in general and the United States, in particular, have committed to channel 50% of their assistance through the Afghan budget in the next two years."

"Our systems are strong and improving, and we are committed to working with donors to give them the confidence needed to channel resources through the Afghan budget."

Since the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001, only 20% of pledged funds - an estimated total of $40bn - had been channelled through the Afghan budget, leading to serious corruption among the rest.

The West is under increasing public pressure to justify their aid and military commitments to one of the world's most corrupt countries where the war has killed at least 380 foreign soldiers so far this year.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who joined Karzai in chairing the conference, called on Afghans to take greater responsibility for all the country's challenges.

More work

"Let us also be clear - just as Afghans are taking greater responsibility for governance and development so must they take greater responsibility for security as well," he said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who held talks with Karzai late on Monday, said transition to Afghan leadership could not be put off indefinitely but said much more work faced the Afghan government on corruption.

"The Afghan government is stepping forward to deal with a multitude of difficult challenges. We’re encouraged by much of what we see, particularly their work to improve governance," Clinton told the conference.

"These steps are important. But much more work remains," she said.

Afghanistan and the United States are trying to reach out to Taliban foot soldiers, offering them jobs and cash in exchange for laying down their weapons. Karzai has also called for peace talks with insurgent leaders.

Karzai won endorsement from Afghan leaders last month to start peace talks with insurgent leaders and called on the international community to back his efforts - despite at least initial scepticism from the United States.

Alliance to remain

"We hope those who have taken arms against our country will see the wisdom of pursuing their legitimate aspirations through peaceful means. We expect our international partners to endorse and support our peace initiatives."

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasised that the alliance would remain in Afghanistan even after Afghans take over responsibility for security.

Rasmussen said transition would be based on "conditions, not calendars" with Nato forces working to train Afghan police and army to take the lead in protecting the country.

"And when it happens, international forces won't leave; they will simply move into a supporting role," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nato  |  ban ki-moon  |  hamid karzai  |  hillary clinton  |  afghanistan  |  war
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.