U.S. military seeks to help Afghanistan’s economy but is concerned about political fallout

By JAY MARTIN NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) – The U.N. military said on Tuesday it would help Afghanistan build a sustainable, stable economy by helping develop new energy, telecommunications and water resources.

The United States, which has helped provide a $7.8 billion (4.2 billion euro) aid package, said it had requested permission from Afghan officials to help with such projects, which include dams and hydroelectric projects.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who has overseen a decades-long war, has repeatedly expressed his desire for peace, and Washington has repeatedly said it wants to see peace, but has said it must get past the political issues that have divided Afghanistan.

Ghani has also said that he does not support any kind of U.K.-style withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been a U.s. ally since the 1990s, when it helped train the United States and the Taliban to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The country has become the largest U.es. military contributor in Afghanistan, contributing more than $3 billion a year.

The U of A is the only institution in the world that offers postgraduate degrees in the region, and Ghani is expected to launch a new government in March.

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Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said the U.lllllll help in Afghanistan would help the Afghan government meet its economic and social needs.

The aid package is part of a $13 billion aid package that the United Nations and other donors signed in December to help fund a $10.8-billion reconstruction of Afghanistan’s infrastructure, roads and other areas devastated by the war.

The funds will also be used to build a new water and energy infrastructure, Holbrookesaid.

Afghan officials have said they hope the U of S funding will help the country recover from the effects of the war and will help Afghanistan regain its international stature and economic power.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Michael Perry)