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NATO not to leave Afghanistan prematurely: Secretary General

English.news.cn   2010-07-21 17:26:23 FeedbackPrintRSS

ISLAMABAD, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The NATO-led troops will not leave Afghanistan prematurely as it has a long-term commitment to establishing peace and stability in the war-torn country, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday.

Rasmussen arrived in Pakistani capital Islamabad on Wednesday morning for a day-long visit.

Addressing a joint press conference after meeting, Rasmussen and Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi showed their commitment to fighting against terrorism.

"We appreciate the military cooperation from Pakistan to NATO and encourage Pakistan to continue its efforts against terrorism," said Rasmussen.

He also described Pakistan as a key player in the regional security and stability.

Declaring the Afghanistan's donors conference held on Tuesday in Kabul successful, he said, "We don't want to leave Afghanistan in a condition that help Taliban to retake the power to make the country a den of international terrorists."

Qureshi, responding to a question, denied the presence of Al- Qaida leaders in Pakistan as was claimed by the U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her recent visit to Islamabad.

"Reports of the presence of Al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan are mere speculations," Qureshi said.

Rasmussen will also hold talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

According to Pakistani Foreign Office sources the talks will focus on promoting defense cooperation between NATO and Pakistan and the war against terror and the overall situation of peace and security in the region.

Special Report: Afghanistan Situation

 

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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