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Afghan situation cause for alarm, concern: UN chief

Delhi,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) In the backdrop of recent terror attacks in Afghanistan, United National Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday described the situation there as a source of "a strong sense of alarm and concern" and called for the international security force there to strengthen the Afghan forces to take charge in 2014 when they withdraw.

 

Ban Ki-moon, in India on a four-day visit, told a press conference here that India and Pakistan, as the closest neighbours of Afghanistan, can play a significant role in the process of reconciliation and peace.

 

"The situation in Afghanistan is a source of concern... It causes a strong sense of alarm and concern," the UN secretary-general said when asked about his views on the troubled nation and its future in the wake of plans of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to withdraw troops from 2014.

 

Referring to the recent terror strikes by Taliban in and around Kabul targeting the diplomatic missions there, Ban Ki-moon wondered whether the troop withdrawal in 2014 by the ISAF nations "will provide enough security to the Afghan people".

 

However, he said these issues would come up for discussion at a meeting of NATO next month in the US, where he would also be present.

 

"While the international alliance will move toward 2014 withdrawal of troops, they must fully engage in strengthening the Afghan national army and police force," he said, adding that improvement in the socio-economic development situation and implementation of those plans would benefit the Afghan people to take care of their livelihood.

 

"The reconciliation should continue there," he said.

 

"Being close neighbours Pakistan and India can play an important role there," Ban said, calling for full cooperation from all nations to help Afghanistan to have a smooth transition.

 


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