Afghanistan's President Karzai asks Moscow for support in war

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Thursday, August 19, 2010


Karzai asks Moscow for support in war

Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought President Dmitry Medvedev's help for his nation Wednesday, two decades after Moscow ended a disastrous conflict there that cost the lives of about 15,000 Soviet troops.

Russia's foreign minister said Moscow was in talks with NATO and Afghanistan on a plan to send helicopters to help fight insurgents, but no firm deals emerged from a summit that brought Karzai and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari to Russia.

"Afghanistan will need the support of friends and from great countries like Russia," Karzai told Medvedev at a one-on-one meeting at the Russian president's Black Sea summer residence.

At a gathering analysts said was aimed to boost the Kremlin's clout in Afghanistan amid U.S. plans for an eventual withdrawal, Medvedev also met separately with Zardari and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

Russia has warmer ties with India than with Pakistan but has been reaching out as it seeks more regional sway.

-- Reuters


Court rules against U.S. access to bases

Colombia's Constitutional Court has blocked an accord that grants U.S. armed forces access to several military bases in the country because it was not approved by the legislature.

The court, in a 6 to 3 decision late Tuesday, said the agreement is not covered by any international treaty, as former president Álvaro Uribe had argued. The year-old agreement to allow U.S. personnel and equipment inside seven bases prompted Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to freeze trade with Colombia and order troops to their shared border.

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