UK reiterates support for Afghan peace process
KABUL(PAN): British Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. David Julian Richards, on Tuesday renewed his country's support for the Afghan government-initiated peace process, saying the UK was ready for all kind of assistance in this regard.
Richards, who met with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, discussed with the Afghan leader the post-Osama death situation in Afghanistan, the palace said in a statement.
Afghan defence minister, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, security advisor to the president, Rangin Dadfar Spanta and army chief, Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, were also present at the meeting.
Karzai and Richards also talked about the peace process, the ongoing fight against terrorism and the security transition plan, the statement said.
Karzai said Afghan forces were ready to take control of the security from their foreign counterparts, a process beginning in July until 2014.
A former top Obama aid said Monday that Afghans would have to step up to the task of meeting the 2014 deadline when US forces would complete a gradual withdrawal from their country.
“At some point, Afghans, after all these years, are going to have to step up to the task. The international community should continue to support them as best we can. But the decision has generally been made that by 2014 we are all shooting to making President Karzai's desire a reality,” General (rtd) James Jones, the former National Security Advisor, to the US President, Barack Obama, said.
At his meeting with Richards, Karzai asked the international community, particularly the British government, to help his administration make a success in the security transition plan. He stressed the need for joint cooperation in brining peace and stability to Afghanistan.
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