Rice Pays Surprise Visit to Kandahar

Bid to reassure Afghan president of NATO commitment
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 5:58 AM CST
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, watched by Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband speaks at a joint press conference at Lancaster House, London, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2008. Rice is in London...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart David Miliband made a surprise visit today to Kandahar, the dangerous city in southern Afghanistan that diplomats rarely visit. Rice and Miliband will meet Hamid Karzai later today to try to reassure the Afghan president that his country remains a top NATO priority, reports the Telegraph.

As the US and UK push for greater involvement from other NATO members to help safeguard security in the struggling country, the alliance's secretary-general offered a blunt assessment of the consequences of failing to bring peace to Afghanistan. "If terrorism is not dealt with in Afghanistan, the consequences will be felt not just in Afghanistan and the region, but also in London, Brussels and Amsterdam," warned Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.