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Excerpts: Afghan President Karzai's inauguration speech

Karzai (L) and Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi during the swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Kabul
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the presidential palace in Kabul

In his inauguration address in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has vowed to combat corruption and work with his main rivals. Here are some key excerpts from his speech to the nation.

CORRUPTION

Those who spread corruption should be tried and prosecuted. Corruption is a very dangerous enemy of the state. We will soon organise a conference in Kabul to organise new and effective ways to combat this problem. Afghan ministers should be professional and servants of the people. The government officials should register their earnings.

We should learn from positive and negative lessons of the past elections and make the holding of elections absolutely Afghan in the future. The election law should be approved and implemented as soon as possible.

NATIONAL UNITY

Afghan voters should know that only the votes of the people can legitimise the government. I am the servant of all the people of Afghanistan, from every ethnicity, every tribe, from every place, from every province - from every age, whether they are small children whether they are old people, women.

I call on all dear brothers, presidential candidates, to co-operate with me in building Afghanistan's future. Here I would like to invite all presidential candidates, especially my brother Dr Abdullah Abdullah and my brother Dr Ashraf Ghani, who is present here, to make joint efforts for fulfilling serious national duties and for a united, proud and developed Afghanistan.

SECURITY

We are certain that Nato member states will take more effective steps to accelerate the readiness of the Afghan National Army and police. This is the only way that Afghanistan's wish for the soldiers of our friends to return to their countries soon can come true, and for the Afghans themselves to take full responsibility of their security.

We hope that the Afghan forces will lead the task of security and stability throughout the country in the coming five years. It is the authority and responsibility of the Afghan government to detain suspects, send them to court and prosecute them.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

We believe that our friendship with the US has not been confined to the common war on terror. In addition, the relationship has been based on long-term interests of Afghanistan to achieve stability and prosperity for the people of the country.

I am fully confident that the [Pakistani and Afghan] governments that have come to power through the votes of the people in the two countries will soon be able to overcome the problem of terrorism.

An international conference will soon be held in Kabul about co-operation between Afghanistan and the international community and for the start of a new chapter. This conference will once again reaffirm mutual responsibilities and commitments between Afghanistan and the international community.

GOVERNANCE

We are trying our best to implement social, judicial and administrative reforms in our country. Being a president is a heavy task and we will try our best to honestly fulfil this task in the future.



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