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RFE/RL Afghanistan Expert To Moderate Presidential Debates

RFE/RL's Akbar Ayazi asking question during the February 15 presidential debate jointly sponsored by RFE/RL and RTA.
The campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election kicked off this week with a series of debates planned to showcase the 11 candidates currently slated to run. The elections mark a critical juncture for Afghanistan, as the successor to President Hamid Karzai will preside over the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

Beginning on February 15, Akbar Ayazi, RFE/RL's Regional Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be at the podium moderating the debates. Speaking from Kabul, he gave RFE/RL a preview of the debates, which will be jointly sponsored by RFE/RL and Radio Television Afghanistan, Afghanistan's national radio and television network.

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More RFE/RL reports from Afghanistan:

# A quarter of a century ago, on February 15, 1989, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan following a devastating nine-year war. Soviet-era journalist Mikhail Leshchinsky, whose reports on the war played a key role in preparing public opinion for the pullout, recalls the historical day. Correspondent Claire Bigg reports.

# Some of the millions who fled the Soviet-Afghan war still live in refugee camps in Pakistan. Radio Mashaal correspondent Khalid Khan visits one of the camps to meet them.