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UN chief hails Obama’s new Afghan strategy

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 11:04 IST

AFP
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomes the new Afghan strategy unveiled by US President Barack Obama in his speech, UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said.“We welcome the speech” in which Obama outlined a new commitment of thousands more troops to Afghanistan and billions of dollars in aid to the volatile region, Montas told AFP on Friday on behalf of the UN secretary general who was in Moscow attending an international conference on Afghanistan.

“We are looking forward to increased international engagement in the reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Montas added. “We need not only a military surge, but also a political and economic surge.”In his address, Obama also vowed to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda extremist network, which he said was plotting deadly new assaults against the United States more than seven years after the September 11 attacks.

In talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Qureshi in Moscow, Ban also said he was “horrified” by suicide bombing in a mosque in Jamrud on Friday, a town in Pakistan’s restive northwest Khyber tribal region, according to Montas.