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Top Pakistani, Afghan Diplomats Meet in Washington


Foreign ministers from Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Washington Tuesday, ahead of talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The discussions with Secretary Clinton are expected to focus on U.S. policy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border regions, where the United States believes Taliban and al-Qaida-linked terrorists are based.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet with Secretary Clinton later Tuesday. On Thursday, Clinton will hold a three-way meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta and Pakistan's Qureshi.

Earlier Tuesday, Qureshi assured his Afghan counterpart that Pakistan is committed to fighting extremists. Qureshi also characterized Pakistan's recent controversial deal to allow Islamic law in Swat Valley as "a local solution to a local problem." Swat militants have agreed to stop their two-year insurgency.

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who recently toured the region, will take part in the talks Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama is conducting a policy review of the volatile region. Last week, Mr. Obama approved the deployment of an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to help fight a resurgent Taliban movement.
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