Karzai, Obama hold telephone talks

Thursday, December 16, 2010

KABUL - Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US President Barack Obama agreed Thursday that military gains had been made in Afghanistan, the presidential palace in Kabul said.

The two leaders held a telephone conversation ahead of a much-awaited statement by the White House on a review of its policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan expected later Thursday.

“Both presidents agreed that security gains had been made in many areas in Afghanistan and that improvement in security and stability in some provinces required to be consolidated,” Karzai’s office said.

The review is expected to report that around 150,000 international troops - two-thirds of them from the US - have made military progress against the Taliban despite a record number of deaths among foreign troops this year.

The two presidents also emphasized that sustainable success in the war against Taliban militants and their Al Qaeda allies required focus on the “sanctuary of the terrorists”.

Afghan officials have repeatedly said that the war against the insurgents would be incomplete unless Taliban safe havens and training camps inside Pakistan are targeted.

Two reports produced by US intelligence agencies painted a grim picture of the US war in Afghanistan, despite the claims of success to be reported by Washington.

Large areas are still at risk of falling to the Taliban, according to the US media quoting officials who were briefed on the reports.

The Pakistani government “remains unwilling to stop its covert support for members of the Afghan Taliban who mount attacks against US troops from the tribal areas of the neighbouring country”, they said.

The reports concluded that “there is a limited chance of success unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border”, the New York Times reported.

Filed under: Terrorism

Tags: ,
will not be displayed