KABUL - United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the organization can help facilitate peace talks in Afghanistan. He also urged the international community not to abandon Afghanistan as troops withdraw.
Speaking in Australia ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that triggered the war in Afghanistan, Mr Ban remembered the mayhem of that morning, which he saw firsthand from the UN headquarters in New York.
The UN chief stressed that while foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by 2014, this should not be seen as a full exit for the global community.
"The international community has an obligation to continuously engage with Afghanistan even though ISAF members may withdraw their military engagement," Mr Ban said.
"There is very serious insecurity," he added, saying that foreign forces could help strengthen the Afghan National Army and police.
He said the UN could provide assistance and advice to the government of President Hamid Karzai in conducting talks with Taliban-led insurgents.
"The military means are important and useful and can be effective but that's not all," he said.
"There should always be a political dialogue and there is a consensus in the international community that there needs to be some sort of negotiation and dialogue."
There are about 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, 90,000 of which are from the US.