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US has got to get Afghanistan right: Obama

rediff News Bureau | July 27, 2008 21:56 IST

Speaking in public for the first time after he returned from his overseas trip, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama [Images] emphasised the urgent need for the United States to "get Afghanistan right."

Addressing 6,000 journalists of colour at the Unity Convention in Chicago on Sunday afternoon, Obama spoke of the need for the US government to engage with the Pakistan government in a bigger way, so that the sanctuaries for Al Qaeda [Images] and Taliban in Pakistan can be dealt with effectively.

Obama, who put the situation in Afghanistan ahead of the Iranian nuclear programme and the situation in Iraq, felt that as long as those "safe havens" existed in Pakistan, there was little chance for progress in Afganistan.

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