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Deadly Riots in Afghanistan, Annan Pledges Support

Following Deadly Riots in Afghanistan, Annan Pledges Continued UN Support

New York, May 30 2006 5:00PM

Reacting to the recent deadly riots in Afghanistan reportedly sparked by a road accident involving a United States convoy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed that the United Nations would continue its assistance for stability in the war-wracked country.

“The United Nations has always been supportive of the Afghan effort and we’ve worked with them over the years as a reliable partner and we will continue to do so, with the international community, in ensuring that the country is stabilized, and we will continue our work to strengthen their institutions.,” Mr. Annan told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.

Describing the “tragic” road accident that reportedly set off the riots, he said: “Crowds gathered and led to even greater disturbances, leading to deaths and injuries of many people. Lots of properties were damaged, including UN and international humanitarian workers.”

The UN chief said he followed the development in Afghanistan with concern, adding that what happened in Kabul over the weekend was “symptomatic of perhaps deeper problems,” including the question of “drug cultivation and production” in that country.

Mr. Annan said he spoke with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about measures to help restore calm. “President Karzai believes that the situation is under control,” said Mr. Annan. “But we will continue to monitor it very closely.”

The UN Secretary-General stressed the need to strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces and national institutions. “These (efforts) do take time and resources,” he said. “But we need to persevere.”


ENDS

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