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Karzai's handover deal supported

Afghan leader’s call for 2014 deadline.

World leaders pose for a photo during the one-day conference in Kabul.

INTERNATIONAL LEADERS attending a conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, have endorsed the Afghan leader’s plan for a security handover. Hamid Karzai called for full security control to be given to his country’s authorities by 2014.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Karzai’s plan was “comprehensive”. She said she believed the one-day conference, which was attended by ministers and diplomats from about 70 countries, marked a turning point for Afghanistan.

David Cameron echoed her sentiments, saying he believed the handover plan was realistic. China’s foreign minister said that his nation wanted to see a peaceful Afghanistan, adding, “We should respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty, and work together for the realization of Afghanistan run by the Afghans.”

NATO’s secretary general clarified support for the handover by pointing out that there would be no quick withdrawal of international troops from the country. Today, two US soldiers and one Afghan soldier were killed during a training exercise in northern Afghanistan. Almost 2,000 coalition forces troops have been killed in and around Afghanistan since 2001.

Attending the conference, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner called on Afghans to get involved in local politics and to voice their views for change:

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