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U.S.: Rumsfeld Says 'Major Combat Activity' Over In Afghanistan

Kabul, 1 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today that "major combat activity" has concluded in Afghanistan, and that the United States is now focusing more on stabilizing and reconstructing the war-torn country. "We're at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld made the statement in Kabul, during a press conference with Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai. Rumsfeld said the U.S. military will continue to focus on improving security in Afghanistan, which he says has "porous borders."

Karzai said that "a lot more" needs to be done in order to secure the country. But he said Afghanistan has made progress since the Taliban was overthrown and his government was installed.

Rumsfeld arrived in the Afghan capital from Kuwait at the end of a week-long tour through the Persian Gulf states and Iraq.