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Security Council Members Express Support For Afghan Mission

A UNAMA photo of new construction in the Khair Khana area of Kabul. (file photo)
UNITED NATIONS -- Security Council members have expressed support for a continued United Nations presence in Afghanistan ahead of a planned vote on a renewal of the UN mission's mandate.

Jan Kubis, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative in Afghanistan, told the council that many challenges remained in Afghanistan.

He said those include: securing funding for national priority programs, strengthening and improving the electoral process ahead of the 2014 presidential elections, and enforcing laws that safeguard rights for women and girls.

The vote on the UN mission is expected to take place on March 22.

Afghan Ambassador to the UN Zahir Tanin said a shooting spree last week by a U.S. soldier that left 16 Afghan civilians dead and the burning of Korans on a U.S. military base "could undermine our trust and cooperation by inciting deep sorrow, anger, and frustration amongst Afghan people."

Tanin said it was imperative that the perpetrators be held accountable.

Kubis told the UN Security Council that the killing of foreign troops who are in Afghanistan to train local security forces was "unacceptable." Kubis told reporters after the meeting that he hoped the impact of the incidents would be "temporary."

With AP reporting
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