Top UN official meets with US leaders on Afghanistan

24 March 2009

The United Nations envoy for Afghanistan is in Washington D.C. this week ahead of a key international meeting later this month which will assess the current political, security and development issues in the South Asian nation.

Kai Eide met yesterday with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones, both of whom expressed their “full support” for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative and for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

They discussed the US strategy review and preparations for the International Conference on Afghanistan, to be held on 31 March in The Hague, according to a news release issued by UNAMA.

Mr. Eide also met on Monday with Richard Lugar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He is expected to meet today with, among others, Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of Defence Robert Gates.

Yesterday the UN Security Council extended UNAMA’s mandate until March 2010, while emphasizing the role of the Mission and Special Representative Eide in leading international civilian efforts in the country.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson following the Council’s decision, Mr. Ban warmly welcomed the 15-member body’s recognition of Mr. Eide’s leadership, “who working closely with Afghan political leaders, has led the efforts of the international community to set priorities and rationalize their assistance to Afghanistan.”


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