Brown urges international coalition to unite behind Obama's Afghan strategy

13:56, December 03, 2009      

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday urged members of the international coalition to unite behind U.S. President Barack Obama's new strategy on Afghanistan.

Brown's comments came after President Obama announced on Tuesday that the United States would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

It follows the commitment made by the prime minister earlier this week to deploy an additional 500 British troops to Afghanistan from next month.

Commenting on Obama's announcement, Brown said: "I call on all our allies to unite behind President Obama's strategy. Britain will continue to play its full part in persuading other countries to offer troops to the Afghanistan campaign."

A vital next stage is the London conference on Afghanistan on Jan. 28, to which all 43 coalition nations will be invited.

Brown said it will offer an opportunity to agree a process to transfer provinces and districts to Afghan control; to make decisions on new civilian coordination in Afghanistan; and to support commitments by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Afghan reforms to build up the Afghan army and police and local governance; and to secure further support from international partners.

Commenting on the announcement, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "There is now a comprehensive strategy. It needs to be put into practice with the full cooperation of the international community. Britain has already announced a 1,200 increase in the number of troops up to 9,500. We've made our contribution."

He added: "I'll be going to the NATO's foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday. The indications that have come through from countries as diverse as Turkey and European countries need to be followed through and delivered because one thing Obama has made clear is that we want to get on with this."

Source: Xinhua
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