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 Clinton asks Karzai to bring technocrats into government

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PostSubject: Clinton asks Karzai to bring technocrats into government   Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:28 am

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jp9xXrWvQ6-S0kTNAlc1w72lQ9bQ

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed Thursday to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to bring technocrats rather than warlords into his new government.

The chief US diplomat disclosed what she said during an interview with Afghanistan's Azadi radio while on a visit to Kabul for Karzai's inauguration following fraud-tainted presidential elections in August.

"I have made it clear, as have others, that we would far prefer that the president have people in the cabinet with professional skills, with experience and expertise who can actually do the work that is required," Clinton said.

"And I think he understands that and he is certainly giving me the strong impression that that?s what he intends to do," Clinton said, according to a transcript released by the State Department.

Karzai was sworn in for a second presidential term Thursday, winning Western praise with a promise to combat corruption and to put Afghan troops in charge of security within five years.

When asked if the United States would support a Karzai administration with "warlords," Clinton gave a nuanced answer.

"Well, there are warlords and there are warlords," she said.

"There are people who are called back who fought on behalf of the people of Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, who fought against al-Qaeda and the Taliban and their allies," Clinton said.

"And there are people who had very serious breaches of human rights and mistreatment of people during war, which is always difficult to look back on and figure out how to judge," she added.

The secretary of state said it was up to the people of Afghanistan to decide whether to seek any political resolution with the Taliban, to whom Karzai has extended a hand.

"But I think it is important to make sure that anyone who would be invited back into society gives up violence," she said.

"There should be the end of any kind of armed capacity outside the military and the police, which is why we are committed to helping build a professional, disciplined army and police force for your country," Clinton said.

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