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U.S. Seeks Better Afghan-Pakistan Cooperation

Condoleezza Rice (file photo) (NATO) June 27, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States wants to help coordinate better cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the battle against pro-Taliban fighters in the border region of the two countries.

Rice spoke to reporters as she flew to Islamabad for talks with Pakistani leaders.

Rice had praise for both the Afghan and Pakistani governments for fighting militants, but said the two countries could benefit if the governments work more closely together.

Rice denied that the Taliban has been making a comeback, saying the militia has not been resurging as a political force but has only been trying to be destructive through violent acts.

Rice offered fresh support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying he has been "doing an extremely difficult job well."

She also backed Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, saying he has helped put Pakistan on a course toward moderation.

(Reuters, AP)

Saving Afghanistan's Heritage

Saving Afghanistan's Heritage

A UNESCO team working to stabilize Herat minarets in 2003 (UNESCO)

THE MINARETS OF HERAT: In Afghanistan's leafy western city of Herat, a two-lane road slices between the city's five remaining 15th-century minarets. Every truck, car, bus, motorcycle, and horse-drawn carriage that passes by sends vibrations coursing through the delicate structures.
In particular, the Fifth Minaret -- all 55 meters of it -- seems ready to collapse into a dusty heap of bricks and colored tiles at any moment. A large crack near its base makes drivers speed up just a little as they pass by....(more)

Click on the image to view an audio slideshow of this story by RFE/RL correspondent Grant Podelco.


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