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Pakistan, Afghanistan To Participate In U.S. Policy Review

Richard Holbrooke speaks to the media after meeting with India's foreign minister in New Delhi on February 16.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Pakistan and Afghanistan will send their foreign ministers to Washington next week for talks on the Obama administration's review of regional security issues, U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke has said.

"They'll both be coming to Washington next week. They will both meet with Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton and interagency teams as we work together with them to formulate this review," Holbrooke said on U.S. public television's "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."

Holbrooke is just back from a tour of the region in his first mission as President Barack Obama's special envoy.

The Pakistani and Afghan governments both sent messages to Obama asking if they could participate in the review by submitting input and getting ideas, Holbrooke said.

He noted that his trip to the region and the coming talks in Washington are part of an intense diplomatic drive to try to bring stability to the volatile region.

Obama on February 18 ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, which would increase the U.S. forces there to a total of close to 55,000 by this summer.