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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 15:19 GMT
Karzai inauguration speech - excerpts
Hamid Karzai delivering his inauguration speech
Mr Karzai asked the world to stand by him

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for continued international help in the fight against Taleban militants as part of the international war against terror in his speech at his inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

He thanked the world community for its help in overthrowing the Taleban and urged Afghanistan's neighbours to support the country.

The following are excerpts from the speech, which was broadcast live by Afghan TV.

The attendance of representatives of various countries at this historic gathering is clear proof of Afghanistan's good relations and cooperation with the international community.

All the votes cast at the presidential election were for Afghanistan, whether they were cast for me or for any other candidate. All these votes were cast for the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

During the election campaign we told the people of Afghanistan about the future government's policy. It included the following main items: strengthening the security forces; ensuring full security and stability throughout the country; eradicating poppy cultivation; combating narcotics production and trafficking; disarmament and reintegration; tackling poverty; creating wealth and making efforts towards public welfare, particularly in rural areas.

Our fight against terrorism is not over, although, God willing, terrorism as a devastating phenomenon is no longer a serious threat to our country's stability. Its destructive activities, its involvement in narcotics production and trafficking and its activities in the region and throughout the world are cause for concern. To fight terrorism, there is still a serious need for regional and international cooperation. The continuation of this cooperation will help tackle the evil of terrorism in the world.

Afghanistan was rescued from the grip of terrorism as a result of the vital cooperation of the international community. The country has taken important steps towards building a system and bringing about peace, stability and security ever since and has successfully put a difficult era behind it.

The country is starting another phase in its life today as a legitimate colleague of the international community. The helpful and timely assistance of the USA and the efforts of the UN in the fight against terrorism and the reconstruction of the country's devastated institutions are worthy of special mention.

We also express our great appreciation to the European Union, Japan, Canada and a number of our neighbours in the region and other donor countries.

We hope to see the international community's cooperation with Afghanistan continuing. Afghans greatly appreciate the international community's moral and material support and will never forget it.

A stable, secure and strong Afghanistan is in the interests of our neighbours, the region and the world.

Afghanistan assures its neighbours that it will always remain their friend and colleague and expects similar treatment from them.

Dear compatriots, I congratulate you all on the beginning of this new phase in Afghanistan's modern history and pray for the success of the Afghan nation from God, the Almighty.

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