US publicly demands deployment of Canadian troops in Afghanistan

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Ottawa, Mar.30 (ANI): The United States is publicly calling for Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan past next year, sparking questions over what Canada's role will be after the 2011 deadline for military withdrawal.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton changed course Tuesday, saying the U.S. believes it has made progress with a new strategy and hopes Canada will provide "visible" support.

She said that Canadian troops might take on a non-combat role.

"We would obviously like to see some form of support continue, because the Canadian Forces have a great reputation. They've worked really well with our American troops and the other members of our coalition," The Globe and Mail quoted Clinton, as saying in an interview with CTV News before a meeting of foreign ministers from G8 countries.

"There's all kinds of things that are possible. The military could slip more into a training role instead of a combat role, a logistics-support role instead of front-line combat," she said, stressing that it is up to Canada to decided its way forward.

Last night, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon insisted there will be no Canadian military mission in Afghanistan after next year's deadline, but said the government is examining what kind of roles civilian officials will play in delivering aid and development programs. (ANI)

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