<!-- IMAGE -->
Afghanistan's re-elected President Hamid Karzai says he intends to set
up a government with maximum representation from across the country and
promised to introduce reforms aimed at eradicating corruption as well
as strengthening Afghan security forces. He spoke in Kabul a day after
the country's election officials declared him winner of the
controversial August 20 election.
President Hamid Karzai told a news
conference in Kabul that improving security and ensuring good
governance will remain high on his agenda as he embarks on a new
five-year term. In order to achieve these goals, the Afghan leader
says he will work towards establishing what he described as "a national
will for all Afghans and all those who want to work with me are most
welcomed regardless of whether they opposed me in the election or they
supported me in the election," Karzai said.
Karzai's administration has remained under fire from the United States
and other Western allies for not taking concrete steps to root out
Earlier, in a telephone call to
congratulate him on his re-election, U.S. President Barack Obama urged
the Afghan leader to implement reforms and take action against
President Karzai promised to take tough action to overcome these problems.
are aware of the difficulties of our governance and the environment in
which we live. We will keep trying our best to address the questions
facing Afghanistan and to make sure that the wishes of the Afghan
people come true towards an effective clean government legally bound.
And also at the same time to make sure that the tax payers' money
coming to us from your countries is spent wisely and rightly," he said.
election officials declared Mr. Karzai the winner after his main rival
Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from a runoff that had been set for November
7 to resolve the controversy over the fraud-plagued first round of voting
The former foreign minister announced
his decision after President Karzai rejected his demands that included
the dismissal of the head of the country's Independent Election
Commission and several ministers. Abdullah maintained his demands were
not met and he believed the voter fraud was likely to reoccur in the
At a separate news
conference, U.S Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry said the
conclusion of the election process is a new opportunity for the
international community to work closely with Afghan leaders.
need to make serious, serious efforts over the next several years to
really develop the Afghan National Army and police of Afghanistan, so
increasingly Afghanistan has the capability to provide directly the
security for its own people. And very serious efforts made and very
serious progress made in trying to improve the accountability of the
governments. Really fight the problem of corruption take it head-on
and deal with it. And we the International community, we have role to
play in this," Eikenberry said.
While the election
controversy has settled and the political uncertainty seems to be over,
U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to announce his decision whether to
send more troops to Afghanistan, where the rising Taliban insurgency
has undermined international efforts to bring security to the country.
Taliban insurgents have termed President Karzai's return
as a farce, and vowed to continue a campaign they say is aimed at
driving foreign forces out of Afghanistan.