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AFGHANISTAN - Dec. 26 - Abdullah Backs US Military Presence.

In his first news conference since the government took office, FM Abdullah Abdullah says US military forces will be welcome in the country for as long as it takes for the "eradication of terrorism in Afghanistan completely. We don't want to see the job half done". He says it is unlikely that the government would lose tolerance for the continuing US military presence, which includes B-52 and other military planes in the skies and US Marines and Special Forces soldiers on the ground. Those forces are continuing in the search for Osama Bin Laden and other leaders of Al Qaida terror network. Abdullah Abdullah says: "It took much less time than people outside of Afghanistan were anticipating" to defeat the Taliban and send Al Qaida on the run. "I don't see any reason for believing that the next phase will take much longer than the first". He also says the new government will wipe out drug production and trafficking.
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Title Annotation:Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Dec 31, 2001
Words:159
Previous Article:AFGHANISTAN - Dec. 24 - Dostum Appointed As Deputy Defence Minister.
Next Article:AFGHANISTAN - Dec. 28 - Afghans Say Stop Bombing.
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