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Obama includes India in Pak-Afghan contact group

US President Barack Obama on Friday recognised India as a major security 'stakeholder' in fighting insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan while including New Delhi in its proposed Contact Group for the region.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2009 22:56 IST

US President Barack Obama on Friday recognised India as a major security 'stakeholder' in fighting insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan while including New Delhi in its proposed Contact Group for the region.

"Together with the UN, we will forge a new Contact Group for Afghanistan and Pakistan that brings together all who should have a stake in the security of the region -- our NATO allies and other partners, but also the Central Asian states, the Gulf nations and Iran; Russia, India and China."

The international community, the US allies and the regional countries have a role to play, he said, adding as America does more, US will ask others to join us in doing their part, Obama said.

Announcing a comprehensive policy on Afghanistan, the Obama said, "From our partners and NATO allies, we will seek not simply troops, but rather clearly defined capabilities: supporting the Afghan elections, training Afghan security forces, a greater civilian commitment to the Afghan people."

"For the UN, we seek greater progress for its mandate to coordinate international action and assistance, and to strengthen Afghan institutions," he said.

While winning the war against terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan would not be easy, Obama said, "The world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or al Qaeda operates unchecked."