01/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Official Calls for Sensitivity to Afghan Demands

KABUL, Afghanistan -- In unusually blunt remarks, the chief of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan warned in an interview this weekend that unless Afghanistan's international partners conducted their military operations with more care and cultural sensitivity, redoubled their work to minimize civilian casualties and accelerated their reconstruction programs, they risked jeopardizing their efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country.

Kai Eide, the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan, also came to the defense of the country's embattled president, Hamid Karzai, saying that Mr. Karzai's harsh public criticism of his foreign allies on both the military and development fronts had been authentic, not to mention an accurate reflection of widespread and growing frustration among Afghans.

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