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Bush to Meet Commander of NATO Afghan Force

  • VOA News

U.S. President George Bush meets Wednesday with the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan.

The meeting (set for 2:25 p.m. - 1825 UTC) follows statements by U.S. officials that the Bush administration is reviewing its military strategy in Afghanistan.

This year is already the deadliest year for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that overthrew the Taliban. In just nine months, more than 220 soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition have lost their lives.

In a separate development, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday he is willing to hold peace talks with Taliban insurgents. Mr. Karzai told reporters he has been in regular contact for two years with the king of Saudi Arabia to facilitate talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.


Calling the insurgent leader his brother, President Karzai urged Omar to stop killing fellow Afghans and return home to work for the peace and security of the country.

Mr. Karzai has promised to protect Mullah Omar from U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan if he should agree to negotiations.

Mullah Omar issued a statement Tuesday calling on international troops to leave Afghanistan.

Also Tuesday, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said three of its soldiers were killed Monday in a roadside bomb blast in the south of the country.

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