Obama briefed Zardari ahead of announcing Afghan surge

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Islamabad, Dec.2 (ANI): US President Barack Obama briefed Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari about the new Afghan strategy just before announcing a surge of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

A statement issued by the government here, said: "Obama mentioned the broad outlines of the policy a few hours before its launch and reaffirmed US commitment to a long-term partnership with Pakistan for security and stability."

The White House also released the details of the conversation between the two leaders.

While acknowledging Pakistan's anti-insurgency efforts, Obama, during his chat, stressed that Washington is committed to ensure stability in the region and defeat the Al-Qaeda.

"The two presidents agreed that the close partnership between Pakistan and the United States is vital to success, and President Obama promised to continue to assist Pakistan in its efforts against extremists," The Dawn quoted the White House statement, as saying.

President Obama has announced that 30,000 additional troops would be sent to Afghanistan by the first part of the next year.

Obama, however, also vowed to start pulling out of Afghanistan by the middle of 2011.

Obama, while announcing the revamped AFPAK strategy, said the United States cannot afford an 'open-ended commitment', and that it was time for Afghans to take more responsibility for their country. (ANI)

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