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31 Mar, 2009 22:47

International community rallies against Al-Qaeda – Hillary Clinton

The international community has rallied against Al-Qaeda, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after a conference in The Hague.

At the conference, Clinton said it was crucial for Afghan security to bring back into peaceful society those who joined Al-Qaeda and the Taliban out of desperation.

Diplomacy must be packaged with military action and civilian development to rescue Afghanistan, she noted.

After meeting privately with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, Clinton said she would outline to the conference President Barack Obama’s new strategy, unveiled last week, for boosting security and strong government in Afghanistan.

“This time in particular our commitment going forward in Afghanistan has great consequences for all of our people, all free people, all people who share the values that the Dutch and the Americans share,”
Clinton said at a joint news conference.

Representatives of more than seventy nations attended the event which focussed on Afghanistan. The hastily convened one-day conference brought together all countries bordering Afghanistan, including Iran, and all nations contributing troops to the NATO-led international force fighting Taliban insurgents. Of the 73 nations invited, only Uzbekistan did not attend.

Also on the agenda were efforts to stabilise Afghanistan's western region near Pakistan.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said instability in Afghanistan and neighbouring territories are a threat to vast regions and should be viewed in a regional context.