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Brown hails Afghan strategy, calls on others to step up

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lauded US President Barack Obama's strategy to combat militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and said it was time dozens of NATO countries shoulder the burden of the conflict.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 08:10 IST

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lauded US President Barack Obama's strategy to combat militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and said it was time dozens of NATO countries shoulder the burden of the conflict.

"We will talk at the NATO meeting in a few days about the burden-sharing across Europe and across the world," Brown said yesterday in Santiago, before heading to an international governance conference at a Chilean resort city.

"There are more than 40 countries involved" in the conflict, he added. "They must play their part in dealing with the problems that exist in Afghanistan."

Obama announced earlier a new strategy for the more than seven-year war in the country, with a focus on defeating insurgents hiding out in safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.

He said he would add 4,000 US troops in Afghanistan, triple US aid to Pakistan to USD 7.5 billion over five years, attempt to peel away more moderate Taliban factions and lead a global civilian surge to Afghanistan.

Brown condemned Friday's brutal mosque bombing in Pakistan that left 50 dead, after a suicide bomber blew himself up during prayers in one of the nation's bloodiest recent attacks.