Defeating Al Qaeda, dismantling terror safe havens in Pakistan top priority: US

May 15th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Richard Holbrooke Washington, May 15 (ANI): The United States has said that disrupting, dismantling and defeating Al Qaeda and their safe havens in Pakistan, and preventing their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan is top priority on its foreign policy.

Robert O. Blake, who has replaced Richard Boucher as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian affairs, said the South and Central Asia poses the toughest challenge to the Obama administration currently.

“In no region of the world are the stakes higher for US national security than in South and Central Asia,” The Nation quoted Blake, as saying.

He added that he would extend all help to Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, to ensure the success of Obama’s revamped strategies.

Commenting on the Swat military offensive, Blake said the US believes that Pakistan in moving in the right direction, and that it would sustain its effort to quell the insurgency completely from the region.

“We are encouraged by the steps the Pakistanis have taken in Swat.We do think that important progress is being made, but it will not be easy to achieve success in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)

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