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Secretary Rice Arrives In Pakistan

Rice at the start of her tour of South and Central Asia yesterday 12 October 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Pakistan today to have talks with President General Pervez Musharraf.

Rice's visit to Pakistan comes in the wake of the massive earthquake in South Asia on 8 October, which hit Pakistan and Pakistani-held territory in Kashmir the hardest.

Rice arrived in Pakistan from Afghanistan, where she had talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai today in Kabul.

Rice told Karzai that the United States will assist Afghanistan as long as such help is necessary.

"The Afghan people have a long-term partner in the United States. We are not going to leave as we once did. It was a mistake for us, it was a mistake for the Afghan people," Rice said. "And so you can count, Mr. President, on our continuing friendship, our long-term partnership, a relationship in terms of security cooperation and the fight to bring peace and stability to this region."

Rice also lauded Afghanistan's steps towards democracy.

Rice is on a three-day tour of South and Central Asia. Rice was in Kyrgyzstan yesterday, and is also scheduled to visit Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service/AFP/ITAR-TASS/AP/Interfax)

See also:

Rice Arrives In Kabul, Then On To Pakistan

Kyrygzstan: U.S. Secretary Of State Rice Talks To RFE/RL

Kyrgyzstan: U.S. Secretary of State Calls For Closer Ties