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Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with President Karzai on the appointment of a UN Secretary General Special Representative in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (188353)

[holding answer 26 February 2008]: The appointment of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Afghanistan is primarily a matter for the UN Secretary-General.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the matter with President Karzai during his visit to Afghanistan with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, on 8 February 2008. On 25 January 2008, in the margins of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the matter was also discussed at a meeting between President Karzai, my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said to the House in his statement on Afghanistan on 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 307,

“Britain continues to push for the next step in this process: the appointment of a strong, UN envoy to bring greater coherence across the international effort in security, governance and development—and in relations with the Afghan government.”