Karzai calls for Afghan security control by 2014

President Karzai has opened an international conference in Kabul to renew his call for Afghanistan to control its own security.

The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has called for the country to control its own security by the year 2014, in Afghanistan’s largest aid meeting for three decades.

Karzai addressed representatives from 70 states at the international conference in Kabul, calling for Afghan security forces to begin taking security responsibility this year and aim to take the lead in all provinces by the end of 2014.

‘Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) should lead and conduct military operations in all provinces by the end of 2014’, the statement read.

The Afghan government and NATO-led forces will examine conditions with a view to launching the security transition by the end of 2010.

The communiqué also backed the President’s target for the international community to channel at least 50% of foreign aid money through the Afghan government. At present, only 20% of international aid is distributed via the Afghan government.

Referring to the conference as a milestone in deepening international partnership, Karzai said: ‘We face a vicious common enemy that violates every Islamic and international norm to break our unity of effort.’

‘They would like nothing better than to create uncertainty, to force our publics to doubt our state power and our determination.’

Speaking after Mr. Karzai, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would accelerate the process of turning over security to Afghan police and military from July 2011.

‘The July 2011 date captures both our sense of urgency and the strength of our resolve,’ she said.

Mrs. Clinton confirmed that the date is not the end of America’s involvement in Afghanistan but the start of a new phase, matched with an unprecedented civilian surge for economic development.

In addition to her support, the Secretary of State pressed the Afghan government to be more accountable at all levels and warned it against trying to make peace with the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

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