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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 14:50 GMT
Afghanistan's new cabinet meets
Hamid Karzai
Karzai stressed the need to win the drugs war
Hamid Karzai has held the first meeting of his new cabinet following his inauguration as Afghanistan's first elected president.

He told ministers to avoid party politics and commit themselves to helping the war-torn country rebuild. He said the Cabinet should direct its loyalty to the Afghan people, not to tribal and regional interests.

Mr Karzai said the ministers must focus on the economy, education and security.

He emphasised that the fight against drug-trafficking would be a measure of the success of his new government.

In the new cabinet, sworn in last week, some key warlords were replaced with reformers and technocrats.

Correspondents say that, while foreign donors are likely to welcome the cabinet changes, some Afghans question the promotion of people who have returned to the country after being educated abroad over those who fought to oust the Taleban.

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