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Obama to update PM on his Af-Pak strategy

Last updated on: December 01, 2009 09:19 IST

US President Barack Obama will brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with other world leaders about his new policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House said on Tuesday.

The White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would be making several calls to world leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday to brief them on the new Af-Pak policy, which would be announced in his address to the nation on Tuesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pak President Asif Ali Zardari, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Chinese President Hu Jintao are among those to be called up by Obama.

On Monday, Obama spoke with France President Nicolas Sarkozy and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Gibbs said.

The issue of Afghanistan and the new Af-Pak policy was discussed prominently at the Indo-US summit when Obama met Singh at the White House last week.

Defence Secretary Robert Gibbs also briefed the US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan and appreciated India's constructive role in Afghanistan.

"It is vitally important that all major regional and international players put their weight behind the government of Afghanistan. This is the only way Afghanistan can meet the daunting challenges it faces," the Indian prime minister said in his address to the Council on Foreign Relations.

At a joint press conference with Singh, Obama said: "This is important not just to the United States, but it's important to the world, and that the whole world I think has a core security interest in making sure that the kind of extremism and violence that you've seen emanating from this region is tackled, confronted in a serious way."

Noting that this has to be part of the broader international community, Obama said, "It's going to be very important to recognise that the Afghan people ultimately are going to have to provide for their own security. And so we'll be discussing that process whereby Afghan security forces are properly trained and equipped to do the job."

"And it's going to be important to recognise that in order for us to succeed there you've got to have a comprehensive strategy that includes civilian and diplomatic efforts," he said.
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