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International Kabul conference opens

The international conference on Afghanistan has opened in Kabul amid tight security with the country’s security and development at the top of the agenda.

The meeting, which was inaugurated Tuesday by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is the first-ever international conference on Afghanistan held inside the country. The conference seeks additional support for rebuilding from the international community.

Delegates from more than 70 countries and several international bodies, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki- moon, are attending the one-day conference.

“The conference is marking a new phase into deepening and broadening of our international partnership,” Karzai said in his inaugural statement.

Increasing the capacity of the Afghan security forces and reconciliation with Taliban militants are the main topics of the Kabul Conference.

NATO and the US currently have 143,000 troops in Afghanistan, a number that will peak at 150,000 in coming weeks.

The airport and key roads have been closed, and Monday and Tuesday were declared holidays.

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