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Bush, Brown Meet in London; British PM Promises More Troops for Afghanistan


BUSH-EUROPE: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Britain is sending more troops to Afghanistan to help the country recover from years of conflict. Mr. Brown made the announcement today (Monday) in London at a joint news conference with U.S. President George Bush. He said the new troop levels will be the highest ever in Afghanistan and said further details will be announced later today.

Mr. Brown said Britain remains committed to keeping troops in Iraq, refuting speculation he might announce a troop withdrawal., Prime Minister Brown also said Europe is prepared to increase sanctions on Iran, if it fails to work with Western countries on differences over its controversial nuclear program. Mr. Bush thanked Mr. Brown for what he called a "clear, strong, necessary statement" on Iran and added that the free world is obligated to work together to keep Iran from getting the know-how to make a nuclear bomb.

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN: Pakistan has summoned Afghanistan's ambassador to its foreign office to deliver a protest of statements made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the possibility of sending troops into Pakistan. Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told reporters that Pakistan today (Monday) lodged a strong protest of Mr. Karzai's comments.

US-MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made an unannounced visit to Lebanon to show support for that country's fragile new coalition government, and to meet with Western-backed leaders there. Rice told reporters traveling with her from Israel to Beirut today (Monday) that she plans to meet with Lebanon's newly elected President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, parliament speaker Nabih Berri and majority leader Saad Hariri.

IRAQ-US: Iraq's foreign minister says negotiations with Washington for a long-term security agreement have not reached an impasse.
Hoshyar Zebari told a U.S. television network (CNN) Sunday that there has been, in his words, a "great deal of progress" in finalizing the agreement.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Friday that the talks are at a stalemate, but Zebari says that comment has now been "corrected." Zebari says he is confident that Washington and Baghdad can reach a deal by the end of July.

Police in Thailand say two small bombs exploded overnight outside the Bangkok office of an anti-government activist, but no casualties were reported.

Authorities said two men on a motorcycle threw explosives at a building that houses offices occupied by Sondhi Limthongkul, a media magnate and anti-government protest leader.

THAILAND BLAST: Police say the bombs did not make it over the wall surrounding the compound in Thailand's capital, and exploded on the sidewalk.
Officials said the bombs were not powerful and probably were meant as a threat rather than an attempt to injure or kill anyone.



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