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Updated: October 10, 2009 08:52 IST

‘US not to walk away from Afghanistan and Pakistan’

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US President Barack Obama at White House in Washington. Photo: AP
US President Barack Obama at White House in Washington. Photo: AP

Standing firm on its long-term commitment for the Af-Pak region, the Obama Administration has said the US will not walk away from Afghanistan and Pakistan because this is not in its national interest.

“We are talking about how to best carry out that commitment, how we can best serve our interests and those in the region. But I have heard no one say that we are prepared to walk away from Afghanistan or Pakistan or the region, expressly because it is in our interest,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters.

“I have heard no US Government official, from the President down to your modest spokesman, say that there’s anything but a long-term commitment to the region and a long-term commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Mr. Crowley asserted in response to a question.

Given the fact that former Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1988, leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan of late have expressed their apprehension that the US may do the same when its objectives in the region to defeat the al-Qaeda and the Taliban are achieved.

“Now, how will we do that best going forward? That is the purpose of these series of meetings and this broad review,” he said.

“As we have said continually, we’re looking at the situation on the ground. We’re looking at the implications of the election results to be determined here in the next few days.

“We’re looking how best to make sure that we are coordinating our activities on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border,” Crowley said, referring to the ongoing review of Af-Pak policy by the Administration.

“This is, in fact, part of a long-term commitment. We are in year nine of this effort. And we will continue until we believe that we have done what we’ve got to do, which is to provide a stable - help build a stable government in Afghanistan, until we have helped Pakistan stabilise the situation on its side of the border,” he said.

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