07/20/2010, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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Karzai reassures the donor countries and calls for more power over aid

Attended by representatives of 70 nations. After nine years of war there are few results. Karzai calls for more control over 50% of donations and pledges to increase local troops security to about 250 thousand. The population remains without aid because of corruption. Ban Ki-moon: The people must participate in the reconstruction. Clinton: The United States will not abandon the country.

Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In an Afghan capital blocked by hundreds of roadblocks and under the control of thousands of troops, an international conference opened this morning, also attended by donor countries, to plan a way out from a war that has lasted nine years.

President Hamid Karzai was the first to speak. Before the representatives of 70 countries, he proposed an increase of military and local police, in addition to recruiting at least 36 thousand former soldiers, to reach nearly 250 thousand security forces by 2011. This would allow foreign forces to withdraw by 2014.

But in exchange Karzai says he needs to control at least 50% of aid from donor nations So far he has control over only 20% and has been criticised over how it has been distributed, marked by corruption. According to the World Bank, a lot of aid has been pocketed by "foreign advisors" operating outside the country, without any improvement in the internal situation.

After nine years of war and without any visible results (lack of roads, schools, health services, sewers, etc ...) the Afghan population is sceptical about the presence of foreign troops and also sceptical about Karzai's government.

Speaking after the Afghan president, UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon appealed to the Afghan people to become involved in the reconstruction of their country.

He was followed by Hillary Cinton, U.S. Secretary of State. Clinton reiterated that "the world is with Afghanistan," although the United States and the international community there is an air of frustration for the few achievements in terms of security, governance, development.

"Citizens of many nations represented here, including my own - she said - wonder whether success is even possible and if so, whether we all have the commitment to achieve it”.

"We have no intention - she added - of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan "
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