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Karzai: Terrorism Could Derail Afghanistan's Reconstruction

Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday that terrorism threatens the progress that is being made in Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai told the U.N. General Assembly that Afghanistan has made real advances in education, human rights, and improving the rights of women.

The Afghan leader expressed gratitude to the United States, along with the European Union, Japan and the United Nations, for contributions to Afghanistan's rebuilding effort in the two years since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taleban regime.

But President Karzai also cautions that without continued international engagement, terrorism could derail his nation's reconstruction. "The crisis in Afghanistan may well be over, but the forces of violence are still looming, embodied in various manifestations from militant infiltration to hateful teachings in places disguised as madrasas [Islamic schools]," he said. "Terrorism continues to make inroads into the space of peace and prosperity, which we want to secure for our nation."

Mr. Karzai condemned terrorists who preach hatred in the name of religion, saying they act against Islam's teaching. He said, Islam "has absolutely no place for terrorism."

The Afghan president also urged the international community to help Afghanistan combat illegal drug trafficking. He says the narcotics trade is directly linked to terrorism, both of which pose a global threat.

After addressing the world leaders, President Karzai met with with President Bush to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.