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Blair Visits British Troops in Afghanistan

British officials say Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Afghanistan Monday, where he visited British troops serving with the NATO force battling Taleban insurgents.

Mr. Blair told soldiers at their southern Camp Bastion base, "Here in this extraordinary desert is where the future of world security in the early 21st century is going to be played out."

This is Mr. Blair's first visit to Afghanistan since 2002. He is expected to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss a revived Taleban insurgency and offer support.

The British leader arrived from Pakistan, where he and President Pervez Musharraf pledged to work more closely in the war against terrorism.

Speaking at a news conference in the eastern city of Lahore Sunday, the two leaders also pledged to support moderates in the fight against extremism.

As part of its cooperation, Britain announced it will more than double its development aid to Pakistan.

Much of the increased spending will go toward promoting moderate teaching in Pakistan's Islamic schools.

The two leaders also agreed to increase cooperation on counter-terrorism with a new working agreement between their interior ministries and intelligence services.

General Musharraf agreed that more could be done to prevent extremists in Pakistan from aiding the Taleban in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.