Hague in Afghanistan ahead of conference

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 19 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived Monday in Kabul a day before international delegates kick off a major political conference, his office said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are co-chairmen for the Kabul conference along with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul and Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan.


Hague's office said in a Monday statement that his country shared many of the goals of the Afghan government.

"The U.K. and Afghan governments' shared goal remains a stable and secure Afghanistan which is able to maintain its own security and prevent al-Qaida from returning," the statement read.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that Kabul's hosting of the conference, which follows a similar effort in London in January, demonstrates progress on the part of the Afghan nation.

The conference is meant to highlight an emphasis on Afghan solutions to Afghan problems. The British government of Prime Minister David Cameron said the ability of the Afghan military to stand up independently would in part define the role of the British military in Afghanistan.


Hague in a series of foreign policy speeches played down the role of the military in London's international ambitions.

"We've always said there has to be a political process as well," he said regarding Afghanistan.

As many as 70 nations are expected to send delegates to the two-day Kabul conference starting Tuesday.

Latest Headlines