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Reaction: Afghan President Hamid Karzai's inauguration

Western leaders have congratulated Afghan President Hamid Karzai on his inauguration as president for a second term, and called for tangible results. Reaction from within the country, however, has been less enthusiastic.

US SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON
Meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul 19 November
Several foreign dignitaries, including Clinton, attended the ceremony

I think that there's a very clear understanding on the part of not only President Karzai, but his government, that the results of this election have to be seen and felt in the lives of the people of Afghanistan.

Those of us in the international community represented around this room, as well as others who are not here, are willing to support and encourage the next years of effort by the people and government of Afghanistan.

We expect outcomes that deliver on security - the build up of a Afghan national security force as well as a national police force - tangible benefits that flow to the people of Afghanistan and an accountable, transparent government in so far as that can be obtained, as well as a strong stand against corruption.

UK FOREIGN SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND

When you've been re-elected, it's delivery time and I think that's what came through in President Karzai's speech. It's a very challenging country to govern but you've got a very strong, substantial statement today.

[President Karzai] said that in five years time, the Afghan forces will lead the security effort right across the country. He has also set out very clearly how governance and [a] crusade against corruption is an important part of that.

Now it's deeds that matter - not just words - but we've got to make sure in our own interests - not just in the interests of people here - that it's followed through.

NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN

President Hamid Karzai has our best wishes for his second five-year term.

We strongly support his intention to form a capable and inclusive administration, and to make it accountable, one in which corruption has no place.

It is critically important that the Afghan people, and the citizens of the countries sending troops to the international mission, see concrete progress in this regard.

EU SPECIAL ENVOY ETTORE SEQUI

[The speech was] a very good statement which reflected the right priorities the right way. Let's encourage and support the president and we shall have opportunities to see how that programme will be translated into reality.

AFGHAN MP SHINKAI KAROKHEL

The people of Afghanistan really trust him and voted for him. This is the time that President Karzai should prove himself and fulfil his promises and really respond to the expectations of the people of Afghanistan.

DEFEATED PRESIDENTIAL RIVAL ABDULLAH ABDULLAH

It's more of the same. He has spoken in these terms - in terms of bringing changes and reform, and fighting corruption, and bringing security and reconciliation - for the last eight years, and the situation has worsened.

TALIBAN SPOKESMAN ZABIULLAH MUJAHID

Today is not a historic day. This is a government based on nothing because of the continuing presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Karzai's call to the Taliban to come to the government has no meaning. He became president through fraud and lies.



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