Upcoming Afghan conference will help promote post-election dialogue: UN chief

11:46, November 29, 2009      

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The international conference on Afghanistan that will be staged in London early next year provides "a very timely" opportunity to discuss the country's agenda in the wake of its recent presidential elections, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday.

The secretary-general said the London conference, scheduled to take place on Jan. 28, and a further high-level conference, to be convened in the Afghan capital of Kabul a few months later, will help outline the framework so that Afghans can play a greater role in shaping their own destiny.

"These conferences would thus constitute defining moments in the reconfiguration of the relationship between Afghanistan and the international community," Ban said on Saturday in a statement issued in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, where he is attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting.

The secretary-general stressed his support for high-level dialogue and noted that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in his inaugural speech earlier this month, also outlined the importance of such discussions in the wake of the elections.

Karzai was re-elected to the presidency after his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the run-off round that had been slated for Nov. 7.

In his inaugural speech, Karzai detailed a work program for the new government, and pledged to fight corruption and to bring increased good governance, security and services to the country, where the Taliban and other insurgents continue to wreak violence.

The London conference is the result of a joint European proposal by Britain, France and Germany and Ban, in his new statement, thanked Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their initiative, UN officials said here.

Source: Xinhua
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