US strategy working in Afghanistan: Robert Gates

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Kabul, Dec 9(ANI): United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said that he is "convinced" that the US strategy in Afghanistan is working.

Gates gave his assessment on the second day of a visit to Afghanistan that included stops at several U.S. military bases and a meeting with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

"I will go back convinced that our strategy is working," the Washington Post quoted Gates, as saying in a joint press conference with Karzai.

"The bottom line is that over the last 12 months we've come a long way. There is no denying that the security climate is improving and that the sacrifices of Afghan and coalition troops are achieving greater safety and security," he added.

Gates' comments come ahead of the White House's first major review of its Afghan strategy since last December, when President Barack Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 additional troops to try to halt the spreading Taliban-led insurgency.

Obama has set July 2011 as the date to begin withdrawing forces from Afghanistan.

However, the commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has said that he might advise Obama to delay the exit plan. (ANI)

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