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EU Signals More Aid For Afghanistan

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
HLUBOKA, Czech Republic (Reuters) -- The European Union could announce more aid to Afghanistan at an international conference next week, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner has said.

Asked whether she expected to announce any new aid at a conference on Afghanistan in the Dutch city of the Hague on March 31, Ferrero-Waldner replied, "I guess at the conference. I might announce a figure."

"I can already say we certainly contribute to a 'civilian surge' by having some more funds available, but I think it is a little bit too early to mention that now," she told reporters, arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Ferrero-Waldner was speaking hours before U.S. President Barack Obama was due to unveil a new strategy for Afghanistan, where Washington and its allies are struggling to quell a worsening Islamist insurgency.