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Karzai Urges International Community Not to Abandon Afghanistan


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan.

He made the comments Tuesday during an unannounced visit to Kabul by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

President Karzai said the international community must remain committed to fighting insurgents and promoting stability in his country. The Afghan leader warned that failure to do so would mean a resurgence of terrorism, not just in Afghanistan, but throughout the world.

The Canadian prime minister told reporters that Afghanistan is Canada's most important foreign policy endeavor.

NATO is struggling to keep its troop presence in Afghanistan while some member countries, including Canada, face internal political pressure to withdraw from the country.

Fifty four Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002.

Separately, President Bush called on all countries to share in the risks of combat in Afghanistan as he held talks with the NATO secretary-general on Monday.

Some 37,000 troops make up NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. An estimated 1,500 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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