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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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Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Womens Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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