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UN, major powers warn Afghanistan over election

20 March, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: The United States and United Nations on Tuesday warned Afghanistan that ensuring a credible presidential election next year would be "critical" to maintaining international support after 2014.

UN leader Ban Ki-Moon also said he was "deeply disturbed" at the lack of action taken by Afghan authorities over growing numbers of killings of women The warnings came amid growing tensions between President Hamid Karzai and the United States and the NATO-led international force which is due to leave Afghanistan next year.

"An inclusive and credible presidential election in 2014 is critical for the country's future and to sustaining international assistance to the people of Afghanistan," US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice said.

"The results of this election must produce an outcome that is legitimately accepted by the Afghan people," Rice told a council meeting on Afghanistan. "It is important that respected and professional leaders are appointed to election institutions after a widely consultative process."

Afghanistan's election commission has announced a presidential election for April next year and Karzai has repeatedly said he will step down after two terms, but diplomats have expressed fears about the organisation of the vote.

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