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Blair, Karzai Press Pakistan on Cooperation on Taleban


British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are pressing Pakistan to cooperate in efforts against Taleban forces.

Mr. Karzai said Wednesday that he sees what he called "signs of cooperation" from Pakistan in defeating a Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan. But both he and Mr. Blair said further coordination is necessary.

The two leaders met in London Wednesday to discuss the increasing violence in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop militants from crossing into Afghanistan.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that Pakistani border troops may be allowing Taleban and al-Qaida fighters to launch cross border attacks in Afghanistan, but rejected allegations that the military or intelligence agency was actively supporting militants.

Mr. Blair also said Britain is determined that the NATO mission in Afghanistan will be successful.

Britain is the second largest provider of troops in Afghanistan, with around 6,000 troops there now, and plans to deploy 800 more to the region in the coming months.

Concern is mounting ahead of an expected Taleban offensive as the cold weather season in Afghanistan ends. In the past, Taleban forces have renewed attacks when temperatures warm and Afghanistan's mountain snows melt.

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