Defence Ministry Hopes Karzai Visit Addresses Equipment, Air Force
 
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The ministry of national defense said Saturday that it hopes that issues related to equipping the Afghan army and building the air force will be addressed during President Karzai's visit to Washington.

Spokesman of the defense ministry said that although the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are capable of holding their own in 2014, equipping and providing them with air support will remain critical.

"One of the important topics at the talks is equipping the national army. And concerns about the air force will be a priority," said Gen. Zahir Azimi, defence ministry spokesman.

Previously, head of the Afghan Transition Coordination Commission -- the body responsible for handling the security transition from Isaf to Afghan forces -- had warned that Afghanistan risked losing its "national identity" after 2014 if the troops aren't adequately prepared.

Afghan civil society also emphasizes a responsive, corruption-free government as critical to Afghanistan's stability post-2014.

"If a healthy, accountable and corruption-free system is put together, I think it will give Afghanistan a national identity. But if interference by neigbouring countries continues, it will definitely cause problems," said Mir Ahmad Joyanda, head of the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society.

Reacting to President Karzai's Washington trip, the Taliban have warned that they would continue to fight if following the visit, the sides agreed upon the presence of US troops after 2014.

There will be no agreements as a result of the trip, but the future US military presence will be discussed, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.

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