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Obama to evaluate US policy toward Afghanistan
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U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is to evaluate U.S. policy toward Afghanistan after Kabul holds the presidential election, Britain's Sky news reported Sunday.

"I think that all of us are going to have to do an evaluation after the Afghan election to see what more we can do." Obama said in an exclusive interview with Sky news.

"I think we need to start directing our attention to how do we create an Afghan army, an Afghan police" after the election scheduled for Aug. 20, he said.

He added that it may be on the development side providing Afghan farmers alternatives to poppy crops rather than on the military side.

"Making sure we are effectively training a judiciary system and a rule of law in Afghanistan that people trust."

Referring to the current Afghan situation, Obama said "we still have a long way to go."

"The most important thing we can do is to combine our military efforts with effective diplomacy and development, so that the Afghans feel a greater stake and have a greater capacity to secure their country," he said.

Obama also hailed Britain's contributions to Afghanistan, saying that Britain has played an extraordinary role in the coalition and expressed his condolences to the families of those British soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan.

The death toll of British soldiers in Afghanistan reached 15 this week, higher than that in Iraq.

(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2009)

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