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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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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