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Defence minister expects Karzai to take action

AFP · 20 Nov 2009, 08:32

Published: 20 Nov 2009 08:32 GMT+01:00

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Speaking hours after Karzai vowed to battle graft as he was sworn in to a second term, the minister said the allies were awaiting concrete action from Kabul.

"Today was an interesting day in Afghanistan, and we will see what will be the result of it," zu Guttenberg told reporters after meeting his US counterpart.

"We need more than just words. We need action also in Afghanistan by the Afghan government," he said outside the Pentagon.

In his inauguration speech, Karzai described corruption as a "dangerous problem" and promised to organize a conference to find ways to counter the scourge.

The German minister said his government remained steadfast in its commitment to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

"I told him (the US defence secretary) that the German commitment regarding Afghanistan is firm," he said.

Germany has 4,500 troops deployed in Afghanistan, the third largest contingent in the international force. Of more than 100,000 foreign troops, about 68,000 are US forces.

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He said Germany was keen to hear the outcome of a US strategy review on Afghanistan by President Barack Obama, who is weighing whether to send more American troops.

"We all are eagerly waiting for the president's speech and for the new concept, for the new strategic ideas from our American friend."

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Your comments about this article

11:47 November 20, 2009 by yellowzebra
i think we shouldt be very suspicious of the announcement of afghan president karzai to combat the old plague courruption just in a land like this.

why shouldt just a man like karzai succeed?
13:50 November 20, 2009 by ErnestPayne
Kharzoi is going to reduce corruption? The next pronouncement from Karl will be that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy really exist.
14:46 November 20, 2009 by Jollyjack
A lot like Obama - let's have a conference.
18:26 November 21, 2009 by mixxim
Gordon Brown sent our troops to Afghanistan to fight corruption? So that they cannot fight it in the UK? Maybe Karzai should learn how to turn a blind eye from the UK Parliament.
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