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Biden Visits Kandahar, Reaffirms Support for Troops in Afghanistan

The next vice president of the United States has reaffirmed President-elect Barack Obama's full support for troops in Afghanistan during a visit to a stronghold of Taliban insurgents.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden visited international soldiers in the southern province of Kandahar Sunday, on the second day of his trip to Afghanistan.

Military commanders briefed Biden on coalition activities in the south, where a surge in militant attacks has spurred U.S. plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan later this year.

In a statement issued by NATO-led forces, Biden said he is very interested in what becomes of the region because, in his words, "it affects us all."

President-elect Obama has promised to end the war in Iraq and refocus U.S. military efforts on Afghanistan after he takes office January 20.

Biden discussed the insurgency with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday. He also met the head of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, U.S. General David McKiernan, and United Nations Representative Kai Eide.

On Friday, the vice president-elect visited Pakistan for talks with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.

They discussed Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism, as well as the country's relationship with India since the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November.

Biden is leading a congressional delegation as the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He plans to travel to Iraq later this week.

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