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Karzai Appeals to World Leaders For Funds - 2002-09-13


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed to world leaders to honor pledges of aid to reconstruct his country.

Mr. Karzai issued the call Thursday in his address to the United Nations General Assembly -- the first by an Afghan head of state in more than a decade.

Mr. Karzai said most of the four-point-five billion dollars pledged last January at a donors conference in Tokyo remains undelivered and that only about 100-million-dollars has reached Afghanistan.

Some donors have said they want to see more stability in Afghanistan before handing over more money. The Afghan leader insists he needs the funds to help create stability in the country.

Mr. Karzai said the Afghan people need a clear commitment and sustained support from the international community. He said the creation of a national army and police force is a priority and repeated a call for the international security force in Afghanistan to expand its operations beyond the capital, Kabul.

Hours before Mr. Karzai addressed the General Assembly, President Bush announced that the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia will provide 180-million dollars in aid to build a one-thousand-kilometer road connecting Kabul and two other major cities -- Kandahar and Herat.

Mr. Karzai called that pledge a "step in the right direction."

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