Gates, Fox confer on Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his British counterpart Liam Fox had a detailed discussion on the current situation in Afghanistan in view of the fast approaching drawdown of troops from that country in July.
"We talked about the way ahead in Afghanistan, where more than 9,000 British troops are in the thick of the fight," Gates told Pentagon reporters at a joint media availability with the visiting secretary on Tuesday.
Fox said: "We discussed the situation in Afghanistan, which remains our main effort. We discussed how the process of transition was moving forward and how, increasingly, while we have control of the military space in Afghanistan, the situation in the political space becomes of ever greater importance."
Asked about the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, Gates replied he had not yet received a report from Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. "I have not yet received Petraeus' recommendations. I expect that they will be coming in the not-too-distant future."
"This is a very high priority for the United States as a way of encouraging rank and file Taliban to give up the fight and go back to their families and to good employment which in this case agriculture provides a very good source for that," he said.
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