U.S., allies pledge to support Afghanistan as combat troops withdraw

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 04, 2014 12:25 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Afghanistan's allies on Thursday pledged to support the new unity government led by President Ashraf Ghani even as foreign combat troops withdraw from the country after a 13-year war that ousted the Islamist Taliban movement.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the government of Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had already delivered on some major issues since taking office in September, in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

Ghani and former presidential rival Abdullah formed a power-sharing government after months of wrangling over election results.

"We are confident that the policies outlined today by President Ghani and CEO Abdullah will result in a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan," Kerry said in opening remarks at the start of a conference on Afghanistan in London.

"This is an extraordinary moment of transition and the possibilities are so enormous," he added.

The conference is not expected to generate new aid for Afghanistan although donors will recommit previous aid commitments made.

Kerry said Ghani's government had already taken steps to combat money laundering and corruption, improve the country's fiscal situation and foster ties with neighbors, including Pakistan.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)