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U.N. urges help with Afghan politics, security

June 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (UPI) -- Afghan forces need support in building their capacity while lawmakers need to ensure political transition takes place, a U.N. report said.

NATO said this week Afghan national security forces were in charge of operations throughout the country as the international mission shifts from a combat to an advisory role. The transition is part of a drawdown planned for next year, when Afghanistan holds elections.

U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan Jan Kubis briefed the Security Council on developments ahead of 2014. He said Afghan security forces showed an increased level of confidence on the battlefield, but still needed international support in building a comprehensive fighting force.

"It is for the international community to assist," he said in a Thursday briefing.

On the political front, Kubis said the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is ready to support "all peace and reconciliation efforts" in the country.

The Taliban this week announced a political liaison office in Doha. Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed frustration with the United States on the matter, saying he was relegated to the sidelines of the political debate.

A U.N. report submitted to the Security Council said a "legitimate succession in leadership" is needed to usher in a political transition in Afghanistan next year.

More than 1,000 civilians died as a result of fighting in Afghanistan from Jan. 1 to June 6, more than 20 percent higher than the same time last year.

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