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Afghan Minister Urges Sustained International Aid

Foreign Minister Abdullah (file photo) Washington, 26 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah says security and narcotics trafficking remain long-term challenges as his country enters a new phase of rebuilding.

In a speech in Washington today, Abdullah praised the will of the Afghan people in turning out to vote last week in parliamentary elections.

"Despite all the threats, despite some of the attempts by the Taliban which led to the killing of too many people during those periods before elections, prior to elections, the people went for voting and they voted for their candidates and hopefully in a few days time we will have the initial results," he said.

The elections marked the final part of the postwar democratic reform process. But Abdullah said Afghanistan will continue to need international help in facing numerous problems. Those include what he called the total defeat of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, reducing opium cultivation, repatriating refugees, and improving education.

(RFE/RL Washington bureau)

For more news about Afghanistan, see RFE/RL's webpage "News and Features on Afghanistan"