Clinton warns against hasty Afghan withdrawal

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned allies on Thursday against a hasty withdrawal in Afghanistan, saying that "political expediency" could benefit the Taliban.

Speaking to foreign ministers from nations in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Clinton hailed their "heroic sacrifices" and played down the July date set by President Barack Obama to start withdrawing US troops.

"We need to ensure that these sacrifices are not overtaken by political expediency and short-term thinking," Clinton told the meeting in Berlin.

"We need to worry less about how fast we can leave and more about how we can help the Afghan people build on the gains of the past 15 months," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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