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President Karzai Meets with UN Secretary-General in Kabul

President Hamid Karzai received United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 29. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s first visit to Kabul was aimed at "ensuring solid coordination between the U.N. and Afghan government in their joint efforts here," said Adrian Edwards, the U.N. spokesman in Afghanistan. “Responding to a long-standing invitation from President Karzai, the Secretary General wanted to evaluate the situation on the ground, better assess the progress made, and the role the United Nations can play.”

President Karzai and the Secretary-General discussed questions of governance, counter-narcotics, education, economic development and the need to promote regional cooperation. They also discussed the issue of civilian casualties in detail. President Karzai and the Secretary-General acknowledged the importance of the issue and agreed that steps are needed to ensure that Afghan civilians are safe.

The Secretary General’s trip precedes a conference in Rome, which will focus on improving Afghanistan’s justice system. President Karzai and Secretary General Ban will preside over the conference along with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema.

The Secretary General also met Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People) Yunus Qanuni, the head of NATO's International Security Assistance Force Gen. Dan McNeill, members of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and other officials.

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