UNITED NATIONS, March 16 (UPI) -- The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan should continue its work for another year to back a military transition process, the U.N. secretary-general said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he would like to assume responsibility over security operations in 2014. U.S. military leaders said some of that transition will start in July.
U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander of military forces in Afghanistan, testified before U.S. lawmakers to provide updates on the war effort. He threw his support behind the transition plan but added Afghanistan has a long road ahead.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his report on Afghanistan to the U.N. Security Council said transition was a key part of the country's reconstruction.
"Our approach to the Kabul process and transition is based on three key principles; transition must be Afghan-owned; it must be planned and implemented in a sustainable manner; and it must ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of all Afghans," he writes in his report.
He cautioned, however, that any signs of peace could unravel if political tensions in Afghanistan lead to "an entrenched political crisis."
Karzai is accused of interfering in elections and other political processes.