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UN Official Warns Against Slowdown In Afghanistan

United Nations, 9 November 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The UN's top peacekeeping official has urged the international community to avoid complacency in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the successful presidential poll.

UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guehenno told the UN Security Council that international aid remains indispensable as Afghanistan prepares for parliamentary elections.

"The international community might be tempted to diminish its commitment after the success of the presidential elections," Guehenno said. "If so, it should resist that temptation. While Afghans have shown a remarkable political maturity, they must still be able to count on the full backing -- economic, financial, political and military -- of the international community."

Guehenno said parliamentary polls, set for next spring, would be more complicated and vulnerable to security problems than last month's presidential elections. Among the key issues to be addressed, he said, are setting boundaries of districts, refining voters' lists, and vetting thousands of potential candidates.

[For more on the Afghan elections, see RFE/RL and Radio Free Afghanistan's dedicated "Afghanistan Votes 2004-05" webpage.]