Brown congratulates Afghan President Karzai on re-election

08:45, November 03, 2009      

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to congratulate him on his re-election as president of Afghanistan.

A Downing Street spokesman said that during the phone call, Brown also welcomed President Karzai's statesmanlike handling of events in recent days.

The prime minister spoke about his conversation with Karzai in a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, saying that "I have spoken to President Karzai and discussed the importance of moving quickly to set out a unity program for the future of Afghanistan."

Brown said Afghanistan now needs new and urgent measures for tackling corruption, strengthening local government and reaching out to all parts of Afghan society, and to give the Afghan people a real stake in their future.

He added that "President Karzai agreed with me Afghanistan now needs to strengthen its army and police numbers so over time we can reduce our troops."

Afghanistan's election body, the Independent Election Commission (IEC), on Monday announced Karzai as the winner of presidential election after it decided to scrap a planned run-off ballot.

Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai's main rival, pulled out of the second round of the Afghan presidential election on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua
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