British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says NATO must persevere in Afghanistan despite the sharp rise in allied casualties.

Mr. Miliband says the next two years will be decisive for efforts to prevent the country from again becoming a haven for international terrorists.

He says he recognizes growing concerns about the numbers of NATO soldiers killed in the war “but the point is that international terrorism is not going to go away if we avert our eyes from it.”

Mr. Miliband on Monday briefed EU foreign ministers about preparations for a major international conference in London on Thursday aimed at shoring up support for the Afghan government.

At least 504 allied soldiers - including 108 British troops - died in Afghanistan last year, a jump of about two-thirds over the year before. The trend has continued in January.

More In: International | News