Afghan parliament opening ‘significant milestone’: US

The United States welcomed the opening of the Afghan parliament Wednesday, calling it a “significant milestone,” and urged the start of a dialogue on election reform.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai swore in the country’s parliament after threatening to delay its opening and initiate an investigation into charges of irregularities in the September elections.

“The seating of parliament is a significant milestone in the progression of Afghanistan’s democracy and an extremely important moment for Afghans who bravely cast their votes last September,” said Mike Hammer, spokesman for the US National Security Council.

“The United States joins the Afghan people in celebrating today’s achievement and we encourage the Afghans to begin an inclusive dialogue on electoral reform,” he said.