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Kabul a major ally: US

world Updated: Jul 08, 2012 00:18 IST

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The Obama administration on Saturday declared Afghanistan as its newest "major non-Nato ally," an action designed to facilitate close defence cooperation after US combat troops withdraw from the country in 2014 and as political support for Afghanistan's long-term stability.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the announcement shortly after arriving in the country for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"We see this as a powerful commitment to Afghanistan's future and we are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan," she said at a news conference in the Kabul's Presidential Palace.

Saying the security situation was more stable, Clinton insisted that progress was coming incrementally but consistently to the war-torn nation after decades of conflict.

Clinton stressed on the goal to defeat dangerous extremists, win over Taliban militants and others willing to give up violence and help in the long reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Clinton was pleased to meet the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan together in Tokyo; a relationship seen as key to stabilising Afghanistan.