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UN Envoy: Afghans Need Accountability

Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative in Afghanistan, talks with journalists during a press conference in Kabul on June 24, 2010.
A top United Nations official says Afghanistan should be given more freedom to run the country and its progress should be monitored by six-month benchmarks.

The remarks by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special representative for Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, comes just days before a July 20 meeting in Kabul in which Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to ask for more control of the $13 billion being given to the country for aid and development.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be attending the meeting, along with more than 60 foreign ministers.

Mistura said the UN wants to "see the Afghans taking much more seriously the fact that responsibility has been given to them and therefore they need to make some major effort on the issue of accountability, corruption and delivering concrete assistance to their own people."

compiled from Reuters reports