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Karzai Stresses Security in Comments to British Cabinet - 2002-01-31


Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai has again called for deployment of a larger international security force in his country.

Mr. Karzai spoke in London to a weekly meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet. The Afghan leader was one of the few foreign leaders ever invited to attend a meeting of the British government.

On Wednesday in New York, Mr. Karzai urged the U-N Security Council to expand its International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and to extend its mandate. He said security is key to re-building his country.

Mr. Karzai made a similar appeal earlier this week in talks with President Bush at the White House. Mr. Bush said the United States will help Afghanistan create an army and a national police force. But he ruled out participation by U-S troops in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.

In New York, the Afghan interim leader placed a memorial wreath at the ruins of the World Trade Center, and extended condolences from the Afghan people to Americans who lost loved ones in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

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