Author Topic: US envoy removed from Afghan post - BBC News  (Read 1393 times)

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US envoy removed from Afghan post - BBC News
« on: September 29, 2009, 22:31:14 »
US envoy removed from Afghan post

A senior UN official in Afghanistan has been removed from his post following
a row about how to handle the country's disputed election, the BBC has learned.
Peter Galbraith had angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai by criticising the
country's election commission. Mr Galbraith, from the US, was said to have
called for a complete recount.

Last week the top UN Afghan envoy, Kai Eide, said Mr Galbraith had left the
country after a row between them, but he denied he had ordered him to go.
UN sources say Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decided to end Mr Galbraith's
mission after it became clear he was no longer able to carry out his work in
Afghanistan, says the BBC's Lyse Doucet.

Some Afghan cabinet ministers had said they no longer wanted to work with him.
Last week, Mr Eide told the BBC the dispute had been resolved by Mr Galbraith
agreeing to leave the country for a while. He described Mr Galbraith as "a valuable
deputy" and said he coped they could "re-establish a good team and work together".

Mr Eide declined to talk about details of his disagreement with Mr Galbraith, but said
the UN should respect the constitutional bodies in charge of the presidential election
"to avoid any impression that there is foreign interference".

The row is between two men who have known each other for a long time but have very
different styles, but a UN source said that had not been the only factor in Mr Galbraith's
removal, says our correspondent. It is understood that Mr Ban would not have dismissed
Mr Galbraith - who came to the post with US support - without backing from the Washington,
she adds.

The US, along with other foreign missions in Afghanistan, appears to want to move on from
the election dispute to deal with the country's other considerable problems, she says, but this
will anger observers who believe a more robust response is needed to the allegations.

EU election observers have said that about 1.5m votes - about a quarter of all ballots - cast
in August's presidential vote could be fraudulent. They say that 1.1 million votes cast for
President Karzai are suspicious.
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