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Bush Meets With Afghan Governors


President Bush met with Afghan governors to discuss security and economic progress in Afghanistan. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Mr. Bush wants more NATO troops backing the government of Hamid Karzai.

President Bush met with eight Afghan governors who have been touring the United States. He says they spoke about unemployment and improving security for the young democracy in Kabul.

"One of the things that really matters in democracy is that local governance is strong and good and honest, that the people are being able to see the benefits of democracy," Mr. Bush said. "It's hard work in Afghanistan, but I told these leaders I think it is necessary work."

All members of the NATO alliance have troops in Afghanistan. But some have limited their deployments to safer areas where combat with Taleban militia is less likely. At the NATO summit earlier this month, President Bush again called for more troops from more member states on the frontlines.

Alliance leaders pledged more than 1,800 additional troops for the NATO force in Afghanistan.

Denmark says it will boost the number of helicopters and staff in Afghanistan by the middle of the year and France said it would deploy several hundred additional troops in the country. Poland pledged to send eight helicopters and 400 more soldiers. Italy, Romania and Greece agreed to add training teams for the Afghan army.

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