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US allies pledge troops for Afghanistan: Holbrooke

world Updated: Mar 27, 2009 22:18 IST

AFP
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US allies have privately promised Washington to send extra troops to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for the region said on Friday.

Holbrooke said that US allies were providing a variety of support as part of President Barack Obama's new regional strategy and ahead of Afghanistan's elections in August.

"Many countries have already talked to us privately about either troops during the election period or non-military support," Holbrooke told reporters.

Holbrooke in particular hailed assistance from Japan, which he said has offered to pay the salaries of the Afghan national police force for six months.

Obama said he would pour 4,000 more US troops into Afghanistan and triple US aid to Pakistan to 7.5 billion dollars over five years as part of a plan to root out Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss further assistance from allies during next week's meeting on Afghanistan in The Hague, said Michelle Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy.

"We have been engaging extensively with our allies and our partners and we have made some very clear requests of them," Flournoy said.

"We expect many of those to come to fruition over the next month or two," she said.

She said that the requests were not only for military contributions, but also civilian assistance and financial support for Afghanistan.