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British foreign minister David Miliband on Afghanistan: "short term pain is necessary for long term gain"

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British foreign minister David Miliband on Afghanistan: "short term pain is necessary for long term gain"

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“I think that politicians have got to be aware of talking about turning points for other people’s countries. I think that everybody accepts that 2010 is a decisive year for Afghanistan. And the London conference represented a decisive show of unity, a decisive development of a clear campaign plan and a decisive move towards a more integrated civilian and military strategy in service of a political settlement. And so on that basis I very much hope that the London conference contributes to that sort of momentum, and that is necessary.”

“I think that the British people and other countries around the world are distressed by the scale of loss, but also the stakes. The stakes are very high in Afghanistan not just for the region which are
very significant, because this is a crisis of South Asia not just a crisis of Afghanistan. But we know that Afghanistan is the incubator of choice for international terrorism. We can’t afford it to become a such again. The engagement of the international community on this issue, on a decisive civilian as well as military basis, I think, is essential. It is always hard in politics to say that short term pain is necessary for medium to long term gain, but that is necessary in
this case.”

“Well, I was in Turkey on Tuesday for the important conference of regional partners. Turkey is an important member of NATO, it contributes significantly on the troops front, but it also contributes as a vital link to the muslim world and it also provides a pivot for the discussions of the future of the regional contribution. So, Turkey
does have an important role to play as part of the coalition.”