Afghanistan Projected to Face Continuing Budget Deficits and Economic Hardships

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the World Bank has recently projected that Afghanistan will face continuing budget deficits and economic hardships that will require new sources of growth and revenue to overcome.

At the Afghanistan Conference First Working Session in Bonn, Ms. Clinton many countries represented in the conference understand that the international community also faces fiscal constraints.

“So it is essential that we put together a comprehensive and effective strategy that maximizes the resources and their use. And that is why we are here in Bonn, because each of us has responsibilities we must meet if we are going to be successful.”
– Ms. Clinton

Staffan de Mistura (left), Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral for Afghanistan, greets Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, before a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan.

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

She said she appreciates the call by the Afghan Government for mutual accountability between Afghanistan and the international community.

“We very much agree, President Karzai, those must be our watchwords. And the United States is prepared to stand with the Afghan people for the long haul to support this transition to sustainable stability and growth, and we recognize that the Afghans themselves, as the president has said, have commitments that they must meet, taking difficult decisions to embrace reform, lead in their own defense, and strengthen an inclusive democracy rooted in the rule of law.”
– Ms. Clinton

She stressed that mutual accountability will be at the heart of the commitments that they make to one another.

She reported that on security, transition is already underway, and Afghan forces will soon be responsible for protecting fully half the population.

“For our part, as coalition combat forces draw down, the United States and our international partners must remain committed to training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces, even as together we continue to go after those who are unwilling to end the conflict or who are engaging in acts of terrorism.”
– Ms. Clinton

She emphasized that there be no doubt that the transition signals the beginning of a new phase of international support.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.