Expressing concern over the worsening violence in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council has reaffirmed its support for the government and the armed forces of the war-ravaged country as they battle an "insurgency" that seeks to restore life under the Taliban.
In a statement, the UNSC also expressed its support for the work of the International Security Assistance Force and Operation Enduring Freedom troops in working alongside Afghan forces.
"They (the members) recognise once again the inter-connected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan and reaffirm that sustainable progress on security, governance and development, as well as on the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics is mutually reinforcing and welcome the continuing effort of the Afghan government and international community to address these challenges," the statement said.
The 15-member body welcomed the Government's efforts to ensure democratic debate, "expressed hope" that the pace of reform will accelerate and also applauded efforts made under the Afghan Compact, a multi-billion dollar blueprint for partnership between the government and the international community to bolster security, economic development and counter-narcotics efforts that was adopted in January.
The statement was issued after a closed-door Council briefing by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative to Afghanistan Tom Koenigs.
He later told reporters there was an insurgency in the south of the country, which has to be dealt with using both military and political measures.
He said there were different groups of fighters arrayed against the Government and international forces, including the old and highly ideological leaders of the terrorist Taliban movement (and) cross-border fighters who are young people trained in fundamentalist madrassas.