Thursday, July 1, 2010

US lawmaker: Not ‘one more dime’ for Afghanistan until corruption cleaned up

By Agence France-Presse

hamidkarzaiafghanistan20091012 US lawmaker: Not one more dime for Afghanistan until corruption cleaned upA senior US lawmaker on Monday angrily blocked billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan, vowing not to give "one more dime" until Afghan President Hamid Karzai acts against corruption.

Representative Nita Lowey, who sits on the powerful committee in charge of the budget, said she would hold hearings into allegations that top Afghan officials flew suitcases full of cash from US aid to foreign safe havens.

"I do not intend to appropriate one more dime for assistance to Afghanistan until I have confidence that US taxpayer money is not being abused to line the pockets of corrupt Afghan governmentofficials, drug lords and terrorists," she said.

An aide to Lowey said that President Barack Obama's administration requested 3.9 billion dollars in aid for Afghanistan in the 2011 fiscal year.

Lowey, a member of Obama's Democratic Party from New York, said she would refuse to consider any assistance for Afghanistan other than "life-saving humanitarian aid" when her subcommittee meets on the budget on Wednesday.

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