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Karzai urges other countries not to abandon Afghanistan

9:35 PM, Jul 7, 2012   |    comments
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
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TOKYO (AP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai is urging the international community not to abandon his country.

He spoke at a gathering in Tokyo of international donors who are pledging $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan over the next four years, when most foreign troops will be leaving. The United States and about 70 other countries and organizations at the conference are setting aid levels for that period.

In his opening statement, Karzai asked for the country's "friends and partners" to reassure the Afghan people "that you will be with us."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration is looking to sustain U.S. assistance for Afghanistan at about the average amount that has been given over the last decade. It's ranged from $1 billion to this year's high of $2.3 billion.

Japan, the second-biggest donor, says it will provide up to $3 billion through 2016.

The donors are expected to set up monitoring measures to make sure the aid is used for development, and that it isn't wasted by corruption or mismanagement.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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