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  Blair gives support to Afghans
Updated 08 January 2002, 06.48

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair has made a surprise visit to Afghanistan and told the people there the world wanted to help rebuild their country.

Mr Blair has been on a tour of south Asia for six days and made an unexpected three-hour visit to Bagram airbase, north of Kabul.

First Western leader

He was with his wife, Cherie, and the new Afghan leader Hamid Karzai. He's the first Western leader to visit since the fall of the Taleban.


As well as promising not to abandon the war-torn country, Mr Blair said the new government should be given a chance.

He said there was a lot to do to rebuild Afghanistan but added: "We are always on the side of the Afghan people and we remain on the side of the Afghan people today."

But he also reminded reporters that the aims of capturing Mohammed Omar and Osama bin Laden "have to be achieved".


 
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