Afghanistan conference to upgrade civilian side of mission

08:21, January 22, 2010      

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British Foreign Minister David Miliband said on Thursday that next week's conference on Afghanistan in London aims to upgrade the "civilian side of the mission."


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband attend a joint press conference after their meeting at the Department of State in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)


Miliband, who is visiting the United States, said in a joint news availability with his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton that the two discussed the Afghanistan conference "in detail."

He said after Afghan President Hamid Karzai's inauguration and U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to send in more troops to that country, the conference "will come at a decisive moment." And he asked allies to mobilize civilian as well as military resources.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)


"It's very important that we upgrade our civilian side of the mission as the military upgrade their side of the mission," he said, voicing hope that the "momentum coming out of the London conference will contribute to that."

Clinton said participants in the London conference will discuss "very specific ways that we intend to move forward." Over 60 countries are slated to participate.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)


Obama announced on Dec. 1 last year the United States is to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and will begin to withdraw in July 2011. U.S. allies followed suit and pledged about 6,800 more troops for Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua
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