US, Pakistan, Afghanistan linked by common threat: Obama

May 7th, 2009 - 4:29 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 7 (DPA) US President Barack Obama promised a lasting commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan after a three-way summit Wednesday between the countries.
“The security of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States are linked,” Obama said after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the White House.

“The United States has made a lasting commitment to defeat Al Qaeda but also to support the democratically elected sovereign governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Obama said.

The Taliban has been growing in strength along the border between both countries and taken control of a large stretch of Pakistan’s north-western region. Pakistan’s military began a major military offensive this week against Taliban forces after a fragile peace deal between the two sides collapsed.

Obama said Karzai and Zardari “fully appreciate the seriousness of the threat that we face and have reaffirmed their commitment to confronting it.”

Obama also said the United States would make “every effort” to avoid civilian casualties as its troops battle militants in the region. Military action earlier this week is believed to have caused more than 100 civilian deaths. Casualties from US airstrikes have long strained US-Afghan relations.

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