3 Nov 2009

Congratulations for Karzai on victory

10:22 pm on 3 November 2009

World leaders are congratulating Hamid Karzai on his victory as Afghanistan's president, while asking for less corruption and better security.

Mr Karzai was declared the winner of Afghanistan's stop-start election.

A run-off vote was cancelled after his opponent Abdullah Abdullah pulled out, claiming it would just be a repetition of the fraud that marked the initial ballot.

US President Barack Obama says he phoned Mr Karzai to congratulate him, but told him to make a much more serious effort to eradicate corruption.

He told his Afghan counterpart the US and the international community would continue to partner with Afghanistan, and the US would uphold the results.

But he indicated a tougher stance on corruption and good governance was required.

The BBC says in Mr Karzai's first speech since being re-elected, he pledged to lead a "clean" government.

He also handed an olive branch to his Taliban "brothers" behind a raging insurgency in Afghanistan, urging them to come home.

The Taliban, many of whose fighters are based along the Afghan-Pakistan border, were driven out of Kabul in late 2001 by US-led coalition forces, paving the way for Hamid Karzai to take power.