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Afghan Foreign Minister Says Taleban Training Camps Inside Pakistan


Afghanistan's foreign minister says there are Taleban training camps across the border in Pakistan that are sources of terrorism and instability inside his country. Abdullah made his remarks during a speech in Washington.

Foreign Minister Abdullah says pro-Taleban militants continue to train and hide in Pakistan's tribal areas, and cross the border to launch attacks inside Afghanistan.

"On the security field, we need to work more together," he said. "Everybody believes that there are some training camps there. Those are not doing well for anybody. Those are sources of instability and terror."

The Afghan foreign minister called on Islamabad to cooperate more in an effort to eradicate extremists he says are a threat to the region.

"If we all know that the leaders of the Taleban are there, they are actively acting behind what is happening in Afghanistan, we know it is hurting us to begin with, but it will have implications for all of us in the region," he said.

Pakistan has repeatedly targeted militants along the Afghan border and has deployed 80,000 troops in the area.

Senior Taleban fugitives and al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden are believed to be hiding in the tribal areas.

Afghan officials have previously accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop militants from using Pakistani territory to launch attacks on Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf angrily rejected the allegations and accused what he called "some agents" in Afghanistan of attempting to malign Pakistan.

On his recent trip to South Asia, where he stopped in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Bush noted both countries are involved in efforts to catch bin Laden and his associates.

U.S. military officials have linked violence in Afghanistan with that country's drug trade.

Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world's opium, and Foreign Minister Abdullah says controlling illegal drugs is a major problem for his government.

"Narcotics, it is a big challenge for Afghanistan," he said. "It is a challenge for humanity. All these are areas that Afghans are determined to move forward on, and to overcome these challenges."

After his speech, Abdullah held talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who says the country has made major gains since the Taleban regime was ousted more than four years ago.

"Everyone is impressed with the spirit of the Afghan people and with all that you have accomplished," she said. "I just want to thank you for being here and for the great partnership that you provide."

Foreign Minister Abdullah says three-and-a-half million Afghan refugees, who fled decades of war have returned to their country, something he says is a strong vote of confidence in Afghanistan's future.

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