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'Decision on Afghan strategy in few weeks'

world Updated: Nov 03, 2009 12:34 IST
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Notwithstanding Hamid Karzai's re-election, the US on Monday said it was in no hurry on deciding its strategy in Afghanistan and that President Barack Obama will announce the decision in the next few weeks.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the decision would be taken in the "next few weeks" and rejected reports that Obama would accelerate his decision making process as Karzai was announced the winner in Afghan polls.

Neither the announcement of the Independent Election Commission declaring Karzai as the winner nor the decision of Abdullah to withdraw from the race "would have an impact on the timing of the decision making process", he said.

"I think the decision will be made in the coming weeks... Obviously we have a sense of now who will be the leader and who will comprise the government of Afghanistan going forward.

"Obviously that's helpful in the discussions that have to be had and in the strategy that will be set," he said.

"But I don't think that was the single question left for a decision to be made. That's sort of a roundabout way of saying I still think we're looking at the next few weeks," Gibbs said.

Congressional leaders have mounted pressure on Obama to decide on his strategy in Afghanistan as Karzai has been reelected as the President.

Obama will also decide on Gen McChrystal report, which seeks an additional 40,000 US troops to stabilise Afghanistan and permanently weaken the Taliban.

Since mid-August Obama has held seven situation room meetings lasting nearly 20 hours in all, wherein he has discussed thread bare with his close military and intelligence aides the situation on Afghanistan and the various policy options.

The last of those meetings were held Friday.