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20 May 2004

Afghan General's Pledge to Support Central Army Welcomed by U.S.

United States' envoy to Kabul calls pledge a "wise decision"

The United States has welcomed statements from Afghan General Mohammed Daoud that he will participate in the nationwide effort to bring Afghan security forces under the control of a centralized command by submitting a list of troops under his command for verification.

The Afghan government seeks to establish central control of the national security forces by demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) of local and regional militias.

In a May 19 press release, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said, "This is one more positive step in the DDR process." He added, "General Daoud's declaration of intent to cooperate shows that he wants to be part of the future of Afghanistan."

Following is the text of the press release:

(begin text)

U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan

For Immediate Release
Contact: Dick McGraw
May 19, 2004
070 23 1198

U.S. Welcomes General Daoud's DDR Participation

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad welcomed General Mohammed Daoud's announcement today that he will cooperate with the national government in the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) program. General Daoud announced today that he has agreed to submit his list of troops for verification within a week.

"This is one more positive step in the DDR process," Khalilzad said. "General Daoud's declaration of intent to cooperate shows that he wants to be part of the future of Afghanistan. That is a wise decision," he said.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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