"Understanding" holds key for helping Afghanistan: UN official

15:30, July 21, 2010      

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Understanding the "enormously complex" situation in Afghanistan is pivotal for the international community to better help the Central Asian nation, said a UN official.

In an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Richard Barrett, coordinator of the UN's Taliban al-Qaida Sanctions Monitoring Committee, highlighted the difficult situation in Afghanistan, especially the evergrowing insurgency at a time when positive reuslts are scanty even after a decade-long inflow of massive financial aid.

"There has been a lack of understanding in how Afghan communities work. Everything has been seen as this war paradigm," said Barrett.

The Afghan communities are "enormously more complex" with intricate relationships between groups, families, tribes, areas, regions and so on, the official said.

"The international community needs to build this fundamental understanding and confidence that the Afghans would probably be the best people to know how to distribute the aid," he said.

Calling Tuesday's international conference in Kabul "a gathering showing real international commitment at a critical time," Barrett said "it is really critical time for the international community to come together with the Afghan government and think how they can make things work after the London conference in January."

The one-day conference, co-chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, agreed that the Afghan forces should start taking over from foreign troops in some areas this year and should be leading security operations throughout their country by 2014.

Talking about the role of U.S.-NATO forces in Afghanistan, Barrett said he believes the best they could do was to "allow an element of stability to be appreciated by all parties in the country."

The more the troops wander into areas which are under Taliban control, the more people, whether troops themselves or civilians, are going to get killed, said Barratt.

"Therefore the troops should be doing nothing more than sitting there and keeping peace if they can," he said.

"Afghanistan shouldn't be an area that creates and promotes instability, whether in the region, or in the world more broadly," Barrett said.

"It is a country which has a very long tradition of trade, prosperity, resourcefulness...and we are helping the Afghan government in trying to promote a better Afghanistan for the future."

Some 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries from more than 70 countries and international organizations attended the conference, the largest international gathering hosted by Afghanistan in post-Taliban era.

Source: Xinhua


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