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Rice, Miliband Make Surprise Visit to Kabul

Published: February 8, 2008 (Issue # 1346)



  • Condoleezza Rice (l), Hamid Karzai (c) and David Miliband shake hands at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday.
    Photo: Reuters

KABUL U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied here Thursday the allied strategy to stabilise Afghanistan was failing, saying it was incomplete and needed innovation to crush determined enemies.

Rice made her case during a press conference in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who accompanied her on a surprise visit here amid growing fears for Afghanistans future.

You have determined enemies. We know that. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda continue to make life difficult for ordinary Afghans, the top US diplomat told Karzai in the highly fortified and snow-covered presidential palace.

She said the NATO-led force and Afghan security forces had to focus much more on fighting new Taliban tactics such as suicide bombings and kidnappings after large-scale offensives mounted by the militants had failed.

Theyve tried to adopt other tactics, like going after innocent people. Well have to adapt too. The Afghan government, the Afghan forces will have to adapt, Rice said.

But to say its not working, I think, I would say its not complete, but the strategy is one, I believe, that is having a good effect, she said.

Miliband said the response of key allies to the new Taliban tactics amounted to a new phase in the six-year war.

Rice and Karzai hailed the building of road networks since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies at the end of 2001 something the U.S. diplomat said helped boost the economy as well as find the militants.

They also cited improvements in health and education, other signs Rice said showed the country had made a remarkable difference for the better over the many decades it had spent as a failed state.

Rice and Miliband were also here as part of a joint bid to urge NATO allies to share the burden in Afghanistan by sending more combat troops, helicopters and other military equipment to defeat a resurgent Taliban in its southern strongholds.

Germany rebuffed U.S. appeals last week to send such troops in a public tiff that fuelled fears voiced in Washington and London that the international community may fragment and abandon Afghanistan.

Canada has meanwhile threatened not to extend its mission beyond next year unless it gets more support.

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Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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