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Military

New Afghan cabinet nominees presented to parliament for approval

RIA Novosti

19/12/200911:59

KABUL, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Afghanistan's first vice-president on Saturday introduced ministerial candidates of newly reelected President Hamid Karzai's government to the country's lower house of parliament for approval.

Marshal Mohammad Fahim introduced the 23 cabinet nominees and said that old cabinet ministers "who were experts and did a good job" would retain their posts in the new government.

Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, a technocrat seen by Western leaders as competent, will retain his post until a conference on Afghanistan ends in London in January.

No reasons were given why he was being relieved after the conference.

The conference is scheduled to take place on January 28 in London, and will be followed by another high-level conference to be convened in Afghanistan's capital Kabul a few months later.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the end of November the conference would provide "a very timely" opportunity to discuss the situation in the country following the 2009 presidential elections and expressed his support for a high-level dialogue on the country's most pressing issues.

Karzai was declared the winner of Afghanistan's presidential elections on November 2 when officials scrapped the second round of voting following the withdrawal of his opponent, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.

The idea to hold an international forum in London to discuss the situation in Afghanistan was proposed by U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.



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