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Ali Ahmad Jalali speaking in Kabul today Kabul, 28 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali held a news conference today in Kabul, a day after tendering his resignation.

Kabul, 28 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali held a news conference today in Kabul, a day after tendering his resignation.

Jalali denied reports he is stepping down due to disagreements with President Hamid Karzai over the appointment
of provincial officials responsible for opium eradication programs.

"The rumors reported in the press about my resignation over a rift with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, are
baseless."

But Jalali did say that, in his opinion, the government's efforts at drug control have been very disappointing. He said
the government must still be purged of officials involved in drug trafficking.

Jalali's resignation has not yet been accepted by Karzai. Jalali, the former head of the Washington-based, Voice of America's Afghan-language services, returned to his native country in 2002. He said he plans to return to the United States, to academic life.

(Reuters, AP, RFE/RL in Kabul)
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