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    US to fund $30m projects in Ghazni: Crocker

    GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The US ambassador to Afghanistan on Tuesday announced they would complete several projects worth $30 million (1,481 million afs) during the current year in southern Ghazni province.

    Speaking at a joint news conference with Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada in Ghazni City, Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker said the American aid would be spent on health, education, training, agriculture and other projects. 

    In 2007, a meeting of cultural ministers from Islamic countries in Tripoli selected Ghazni City as the Asian capital of the Islamic civilisation for the year 2013. The diplomat said they were ready to support the province in 2013 celebrations.

    Afghanistan and the US were working on a strategic cooperation agreement, Crocker said, promising that the Americans would not leave the country alone and continue to support it beyond 2014, when all foreign forces are scheduled to pull out.

    “The peace process is underway and Taliban now that they have an exclusive address, it is for the Taliban to decide whether to negotiate peace or continue to fight,” the ambassador said.

    Governor Akbarzada welcomed the aid promise held out by the ambassador and said dozens of developmental projects would be launched immediately after the winter.

    He asked foreign aid agencies and the central government to give the province $20 million (987.4 million afs) next year. Several multimillion dollar projects have already been executed by the US and the Polish Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the province.

    Former senator Maulana Abdur Rahman Hakimi also welcomed the US assistance and said the province had been neglected over the past decade and needed more attention.