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Karzai presses Pak on spring offensive

The Afghan president along with British Premier Blair voiced confidence that Taliban insurgents can be defeated.
By Press Trust of India | None, London
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2007 01:51 PM IST

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Afghan President Hamid Karzai voiced confidence that Taliban insurgents can be defeated, but pressed Pakistan to help curb a planned spring offensive.

Blair, speaking after talks in London, vowed that Britain and 36 other nations led by the United States will stay the course in the violence-scarred country, which faces a resurgent Taliban threat five years after the Islamic extremists were ousted from power.

"We are determined to do everything we can to make sure that mission is successful in the south of Afghanistan as we believe it will be," Blair told a news conference at his Downing Street office on Wednesday.

"This is a common battle. This is why it's important that Britain stays the course in Afghanistan," he added.

Karzai voiced satisfaction with what he said was a trend of cooperation from neighbouring Pakistan in recent months and of reduced terrorist incidents in the country since September.

"I have been urging stronger participation in the fight against terrorism with us by our brothers in Pakistan," he said on Wednesday.

"I can say that with recent activities in Pakistan I can speak with satisfaction and I hope that this will continue into the future.

We have been fairly secure since September last year," he said.

He also voiced confidence that a Taliban offensive, expected in the coming weeks as winter snows melt, can be contained.

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