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World leaders to attend Karzai's swearing-in

World leaders to attend Karzai's swearing-in

Lalit K Jha - Nov 11, 2009 - 18:58 WASHINGTON (PAN): Terming it as a historic event, Afghanistans top diplomat in the United States on Wednesday said several world leaders including those from the neighboring countries and its allies from across the globe are expected to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Hamid Karzai in Kabul on November 19 .


The preparation is under way to have high ranking officials from NATO countries, major donors of Afghanistan, countries in the region to come and attend the event., Said T Jawad, the Afghan Ambassador to the United States, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview .

"We anticipate to see a significant number of high ranking officials including presidents, prime ministers, defence ministers and foreign ministers from across the globe," said Jawad, who would himself travel to Kabul to attend the event.

When asked who from the Obama Administration would be attending the inaugural ceremony, Jawad said: All high ranking officials of the United States and other major allies of Afghanistan are welcomed to participate. It is a historic day for Afghanistan. I do not know, exactly, who is being invited by the office of the protocol (in Kabul)."

As the Karzai Administration enters its second term, following months of not so healthy relationship with the Obama Administration, Jawad said Afghan-US relationship is a strategic relationship based on the national interest of both countries .

We are facing a brutal enemy. We are facing a number of challenges both in the area of security, services and development. I think there would be a renewed commitment on both sides to work more closely and more decisively to overcome some of the current challenges, because both we in Afghanistan and the US Government is under pressure to deliver results and show changes in a relatively short time frame, Jawad told PAN .

The Afghan people are demanding changes, and so is the US Congress which would like to see changes taking place in Afghanistan within a relatively short time frame, he said, adding that there mutual expectations on both sides, a lot of which are known .

There are preliminary talks about entering into a new compact with the United States and with possibly some of our major allies in Europe, indicating the mutual expectations on both sides and finding better ways to support each other, the Ambassador said .

But the key to success, he noted, would be to further enhance the mutual trust between the two countries, because both the administrations are under pressure by their people to show results in a relatively short time frame .

When asked what Kabul expects from the Obama Administration and the international community, Jawad said in the area of security and governance it would like to have help and assistance to take drastic action against corruption and enhance the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to deliver services and provide protection to the Afghan people .

In the area of development, it is more of aid efficiency and channeling of more international assistance towards the budget of the Afghan government so there would be better use of the every dollar we use in Afghanistan, he said .



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