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U.S., Britain Share Common Goals in Afghanistan, Obama Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2009 – As the United States conducts a comprehensive review of its Afghanistan strategy, President Barack Obama said today he’s confident Great Britain will remain its strongest partner in putting that strategy into effect.

“Both Great Britain and the United States share a deep interest in ensuring that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan are safe havens for terrorist activity,” the president said during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Brown is the first European leader to visit the White House since Obama took office.

While the session focused largely on the global economic crisis, Obama and Brown also discussed Iran’s nuclear program, global warming and the war in Afghanistan.

Obama conceded that “the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated,” and that al-Qaida safe havens remain in Pakistan’s frontier regions.

The United States is conducting a comprehensive review of its policies with respect to Afghanistan, Pakistan and its coordination with NATO and other partners in the International Security Assistance Force, he told reporters.

Obama said he expects to announce the findings, including “the direction that the United States would like to go,” before a NATO summit that follows next month’s G-20 summit in London.

“What I'm confident in is that our strongest partner in that effort once again will be the United Kingdom and the prime minister sitting next to me,” he said.

Obama thanked the people of Great Britain for the sacrifices their troops have made in Afghanistan and praised the two countries’ longstanding alliance and friendship.

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