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U.N. envoy urges Afghanistan to get involved

By Mick B. Krever and Gabriella Casanas, CNN
  • Envoy briefs U.N. Security Council on Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan needs to create more credible system of rule, envoy says
  • He calls on international "actors" to promote Afghanization
  • That's the idea that Afghans take control of their country from international forces

United Nations (CNN) -- The United Nations' top envoy in Afghanistan told the Security Council the war-torn nation needs to take better control of itself. The Wednesday session came on the heels of a four-day fact-finding mission council members took to Afghanistan last week.

Staffan de Mistura, the secretary general's special representative for Afghanistan, in his briefing to the council called for a public contract between the Afghan government and its people as a way of creating a more credible system of rule. This is a crucial year for the country, he said.

Last week, Gen. Stanley McChrystal was dismissed from his post as commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Though de Mistura would not comment on the decision to replace McChrystal, he spoke highly of him and his successor, Gen. David Petraeus, who was unanimously confirmed for the post on Wednesday.

De Mistura said that he has had a longstanding and extremely comfortable relationship with Petraeus, respects him greatly and is confident in his ability to protect Afghan civilians.

But de Mistura said that everybody acknowledges that there is no military solution.

He called on international "actors" to promote Afghanization, the idea that Afghans take increasing control of their country from international forces. He said that transition is on schedule in the security realm, but also needs to happen in the government and the economy. The country is working to improve these measures before parliamentary elections take place.

The importance of Afghanization was emphasized repeatedly by Security Council members.

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., spoke of the importance of Afghans choosing their government, beginning a dialogue on the conflict, strengthening their ability to provide security and fostering economic and political development.

The Afghan ambassador to the U.N., Zahir Tanin, echoed the sentiment. "Our success in the coming years will depend on our ability to further involve Afghans in the government process," he said.

The United Nations will co-chair a conference in Kabul with the Afghan government on July 20. The conference is meant to be a platform for Afghan leadership to present an agenda for stabilizing the country.