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Obama: Afghan Strategy Must Include Ending Terror Threat in Pakistan

By VOA News
03 April 2009

President Barack Obama said the United States and NATO cannot be effective in Afghanistan without addressing the threat of terrorism across the border in Pakistan.

Mr. Obama told reporters during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany that he does not envision NATO troops in Pakistan. But he said NATO allies must do more to help the Pakistani government eliminate safe havens for extremists in the country's tribal regions.

The president said the task is "complex" that requires more resources to help develop Pakistan's tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

He traveled to France and Germany Friday to attend the NATO summit marking the 60th anniversary of the alliance.

Last month, Mr. Obama unveiled a new strategy for the conflict in Afghanistan, which includes more U.S. troops, money for training Afghan police, and a new diplomatic emphasis on Pakistan.

President Obama also said the goal of his new plan is not to run Afghanistan, but to help the country provide its own security to ensure it does not become a safe haven for terrorists.

Attacks by Taliban militants and other Afghan insurgents have grown to their highest levels since the U.S.-led coalition overthrew the former Taliban government in 2001.

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