Clinton Calls For Regional Support for Afghanistan

Posted July 20th, 2011 at 9:20 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised that despite the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, the United States will continue targeting terrorists and helping the country rebuild after decades of civil war.

Clinton made the remarks during a speech in Chennai, India, where she is wrapping up a two-day visit to the country. She called on Afghan insurgents to renounce violence, abandon ties to al-Qaida, and abide by Afghan laws, including those protecting women and children.

She also said reconciliation in Afghanistan will depend on support from both India and Pakistan.

Clinton also called on Pakistan to prevent insurgents from using its territory to mount attacks in Afghanistan or India.

Finally, Clinton called on all countries in the region to reduce trade barriers and increase trade across the region, in order to open up new sources of raw material, energy, and agricultural products.

Clinton was to meet with representatives of U.S. companies in India at the end of her visit.

On Tuesday, Clinton and her Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, urged Pakistan to do more to eliminate “terrorist sanctuaries” on its territory, both for the sake of its own interests and those of the region.

Clinton said the U.S. and India are united in fighting terrorism, and that Pakistan is a key ally in that fight.

She said the importance of confronting extremists became even more clear after last week's triple bombings in India's financial hub, Mumbai, which killed 20 people and wounded more than 130 others.

Clinton will continue her multi-nation diplomatic tour with stops this week in Indonesia and Hong Kong.