Karzai to seek greater control over Afghanistan aid funds

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Kabul, July 20 (ANI): Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is to ask for greater control of his country's multi-billion dollar aid budget at an international conference in Kabul.

Karzai is expected to promise the nearly 40 foreign ministers from NATO and other states to take on more responsibility in return for increased security.

Only about 20 percent of international aid is distributed via the Afghan government. The US and its allies also want assurances from Karzai to tackle corruption and promote good governance, the BBC reports.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the conference - the largest hosted by the country in three decades - "is going to show more Afghan ownership and leadership, which is something we've been pushing".

Clinton said Washington was "pressing the Afghan government at all levels to be more accountable, to go after corruption".

She also warned it against trying to make peace with the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other militant groups the US considers irreconcilable.

"We would strongly advise our friends in Afghanistan to deal with those who are committed to a peaceful future where their ideas can compete in the political arena through the ballot box, not through the force of arms."

The Taliban have insisted they will fight until all foreign forces leave. (ANI)

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