18 January 2006

Press Statement on Afghanistan by Security Council President

NEW YORK, 17 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today's press statement on Afghanistan by the President of the Security Council, Augustine P. Mahiga (United Republic of Tanzania):

The members of the Security Council heard a briefing by Mr. Jean Arnault, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan.  They expressed special gratitude to him for his devoted contribution on this issue.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in the province of Kandahar on 14, 15 and 16 January 2006, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.  They expressed their condolences to the Government and people of Afghanistan for the many Afghan victims of the attacks, including many civilians.  They also extended their condolences to the Government and people of Canada for those killed and injured in the attack against the Canadian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).  They expressed their sadness at the loss of their former colleague, Glyn Berry, who was serving as the PRT's Political Director.

They stressed that the latest terrorist attacks once again underline the necessity to improve safety and security of the country.  The members reiterated that no terrorist acts can reverse the path towards peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and Government of Afghanistan and the international community.  They urged the parties concerned to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of the London Conference on Afghanistan to be held on 31 January and 1 February, and looked forward to the launching of a new "Afghanistan Compact" to provide a solid framework for the next stage of the reconstruction of Afghanistan, with Afghan ownership and international assistance.

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