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Karzai Tells Afghans To Keep New Air Terminal Clean

KABUL (Reuters) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai opened a new, Japanese-built $37 million terminal at Kabul airport, but said he hoped it would survive undamaged for at least one year now that it is in Afghan hands.

Karzai praised Japan's help in building the new international terminal that replaces the old Soviet-built structure, which has suffered civil war, bombings, plane crashes, and years of neglect.

"Today it is a great pleasure for the Afghan people to take another step forward in rebuiding Afghanistan," Karzai said.

"Now this terminal is in Afghan hands. I hope this terminal will not be damaged within a year," he said.

But the early signs were not good.

While touring the new terminal, Karzai ran his finger along a marble surface and it came up covered in grime.

"Look at this dust. Who's in charge? Why isn't it clean?" Karzai said.