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Karzai seeks greater control over aid

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Karzai seeks greater control over aid


Afghanistan’s government should have a greater say in how the country’s multi-million-euro aid budget is spent, President Hamid Karzai told a foreign donors summit on Tuesday.

Just 20 per cent of aid passes through Afghan state coffers but Karzai said that the amount should now be raised to 50 per cent.

Some 10 billion euros (13 billion dollars) worth of aid has been earmarked to be spent in Afghanistan over the next five years.

But the US and its allies have so far been wary of handing over greater control to Karzai amid fears he is not doing enough to tackle corruption.

Delegates from more than 70 government and international institutions are attending the conference, which is the first of its kind to be held in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.

Guests include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign chief Catherine Ashton and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Clinton responded to Karzai’s speech by stressing that the international community would “expect results” from him on fighting graft.

In return for more control over funding, the Afghan president said Afghan forces could take over responsibility for the country’s security by 2014.

His offer comes as the U.S and its allies are boosting troop levels to an expected peak of 150,000.

Last year was the coalition’s most deadly since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

521 soldiers were killed in the country in 2009, according to, an organisation that monitors military fatalities.

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