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Modi warns US to avoid Iraq 'mistake'

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the United States Monday not to repeat its "mistake" in Iraq by pulling out of Afghanistan too quickly. Modi, who is due to meet President Barack Obama later on Monday, said US forces had forged "stability" in Afghanistan that had helped the country "march" towards "a good result." "But we have requested America ... please do not repeat the mistake that you made in Iraq," Modi said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"Because after such a rapid withdrawal in Iraq, (and) what happened there, the withdrawal process in Afghanistan should be very slow. Let it stand on its own, and only then can you stop the Taliban lifting its head there," Modi, speaking in Hindi, said through a translator. Modi's remarks came on the day on which Afghanistan's new government indicated that it would sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States that will allow a residual Nato force to remain behind when Western combat operations end in the country before the end of the year. Under the deal, the US deployment in Afghanistan will be scaled back to around 9,800 by the start of 2015.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014


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