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Afghan approach urged to change

[ 2010-01-29 13:20]     字号 [] [] []  
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The president of Uzbekistan, which shares a long border with Afghanistan, has urged the West to stop using military force in its fight against the Taliban and focus more on rebuilding the country's shattered economy.

Uzbekistan's support for US-led military efforts in Afghanistan is important because the country, like the rest of Central Asia, lies on a supply route for NATO forces fighting a resurgent Taliban.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said military efforts had become largely useless.

"Over the past 30 years billions and billions have been spent to solve the Afghan problem," he said. "It looks obvious today that the entire approach has to be changed to settle the situation in this country."

He urged the United Nations to lead efforts to rebuild Afghanistan through peaceful methods.

"To bring peace and stability to the tormented Afghan land the international community should first of all focus on offering economic, financial, social and humanitarian aid and that has to be done under the auspices of the United Nations."

He made the remarks as ministers from some 60 countries were preparing to meet in London to hammer out a strategy to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan.

Washington is sending an extra 30,000 troops there in the hopes of forcing hardline Islamists to negotiate.

Uzbeks form a considerable minority group in Afghanistan, particularly in its northern areas bordering Uzbekistan, a secular former Soviet republic, which says that Islamist militancy is on the rise in resource-rich Central Asia.

Lying on big gas reserves, Uzbekistan has already raised electricity exports to Afghanstan and started construction of a new railway connecting the Uzbek city of Termez - where Germany has a military base - with Mazar-i-Sharif.

Karimov said Afghan neighbours were particularly keen to take part in efforts to rebuild Afghanistan to avoid instability spilling over into the broader Central Asian region.


1. What is the name of the president of Uzbekistan?

2. How many countries are taking part in the London Afghan summit?

3. How many extra troops is Washington sending to Afghanistan?


1. Islam Karimov.

2. 60.

3. 30,000.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Afghan approach urged to change

About the broadcaster:

Afghan approach urged to change

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.