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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Afghan leader urges terror action
UN General Assembly in session on 20 September
The UN General Assembly is holding its 61st session
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told the United Nations General Assembly that military action alone will not stop terrorism in his country.

He called for the destruction of safe havens and elaborate networks operating in the region to recruit, train, finance, arm and deploy terrorists.

Another speaker at Wednesday's session, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, strongly condemned US foreign policy.

The leftist leader appeared to call George W Bush "the devil".

They decapitate elderly women, blow up mosques full of worshipers and kill school-going children
Hamid Karzai
Afghan president

"The devil came here yesterday," he said. "He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."

Mr Bush addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday, its opening day.

"It still smells of sulphur today," Mr Chavez added.

Other business at the UN on Wednesday includes a meeting of the Middle East quartet - the diplomatic steering group comprising the US, Russia, the European Union and the UN.

And the UN will hold a special meeting to discuss the four-year-old crisis in Ivory Coast, divided since its civil war.

'Horrific acts'

"Terrorists are prepared to cross any boundaries and commit horrific acts of violence to try to derail Afghanistan from its path to success," said Mr Karzai.

Hugo Chavez addressed the UN General Assembly
Hugo Chavez used his speech to lash at US influence

"They decapitate elderly women, blow up mosques full of worshipers and kill school-going children in indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas.

"And that is why they are killing international soldiers and civilians who have come to Afghanistan to help the Afghan people."

Talking about terror bases, Mr Karzai did not mention any other country by name but the BBC's Paul Anderson says that, in the past, Afghan leaders including Mr Karzai have criticised Pakistan for harbouring Taleban militants and not doing enough to stop cross-border attacks.

The Afghan leader also linked Afghanistan's surging narcotics production to terrorism, saying the menace of drugs threatened the foundation of the Afghan economy.

Mr Karzai said the answer to defeating terrorism lay in "the prosperity of the Afghan people".

And he said the answer to defeating the drugs trade lay in international support for providing a "meaningful alternative livelihood to our farmers".

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