Karzai opens Kabul Conference

July 20th, 2010 - 12:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, July 20 (DPA) Afghan President Hamid Karzai opened an international conference Tuesday aimed at charting a new course on how billions in development aid are to be spent in the next few years.
Enhancing the capacity of the Afghan security forces, political reform, reconciliation with Taliban militants and improving governance, including the fight against endemic administrative corruption, are high on the agenda of the Kabul Conference, attended by nearly 70 international representatives.

The delegates include representatives from 57 countries, including 40 foreign ministers and 11 representatives from regional and international organisations, among them UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

After the opening of the conference by Karzai and Ban, the top UN envoy to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura and Afghan Minister of Finance Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal are to co-chair the conference.

Afghan officials, speaking ahead of the opening, said that they expect the donors to align 80 percent of their nearly $13-billion pledges with the Kabul government’s priorities. A peace plan to reintegrate Taliban militants into civilian life is also expected to be discussed.

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