Thursday, March 19, 2009

US 'serious' about cooperating on Afghan: Miliband

Updated at: 0730 PST, Thursday, March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON: Foreign secretary David Miliband said Wednesday that US President Barack Obama's administration is serious about cooperating with its allies on Afghanistan."We’re very struck that the Obama administration wants to have a discussion of objectives, of strategy, and better resources, and they want to do it in that order," said Miliband, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."I think there’s a real sense that the administration is serious about consultation and collaboration about all aspects of the objectives of the strategy as well as the resources," Miliband told a press briefing."And that’s greatly appreciated," he added.Miliband visited Washington to consult Clinton before an international conference on Afghanistan on March 31 in The Hague, but also the G20 summit in London on April 2, a NATO summit on April 3-4 in Strasbourg, France and Kehl Germany, as well as the US-European Union meeting in Prague on April 5."What we have is an integrated strategy to achieve the objectives so that the civilian capacity that is going to be important for assisting in the training of the Afghan National Army as well as the police in supporting governance, rule of law, judicial systems, economic opportunities is also on the table," Clinton said."So we're going to have a thorough discussion leading up to the March 31st meeting because we believe that the objectives and the strategic review should lead in making clear what the resources will be, and we’ll get into the specifics as we move forward," the chief US diplomat said.

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