Afghan Cabinet Promises Kandahar is 'Priority' in Visit
 
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Several members of cabinet on Thursday travelled to southern Kandahar province to meet with government officials and tribal elders, promising it will deliver on projects aimed at improving the province.

Ministers and deputy ministers including those from Higher Education, Education, Agriculture, Public Health, Rural Rehabilitation and Urban Development pledged support for several projects emphasising that the province was a priority.

"We will do whatever we can do for this province," Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi said in a gathering with provincial officials and tribal elders.

Public Works Minister Najibullah Ozhan said that the construction projects will be awarded to the local companies to support Afghan businesses.

"It will be better if we offer the construction projects to local companies. We will try this," Ozhan said.

But the provincial leaders criticised the government officials for not implementing projects previously promised.

"This province has not been taken into consideration as much as other provinces," provincial governor Toryalai Wesa said.

The tribal elders said that as winter is closing in the residents of the southern province will face major challenges already outlined to the central government in previous requests for assistance.

"None of the government's commitments were met," one of the tribal elders said.

Kandahar is considered one of the more insecure of Afghanistan's 34 provinces with high levels of insurgent activity.

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