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Laura Bush: U.S. supports Afghan recovery

June 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM

PARIS, June 12 (UPI) -- The United States supports a strong international partnership committed to Afghanistan's recovery, first lady Laura Bush said at a conference in France.

The United States is dedicating $10.2 billion to help Afghanistan implement its National Development Strategy during the next five years, Bush said Thursday in Paris during the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan, called to raise money for the country's rebuilding efforts.

If Congress approves all of the funding requested, it will add to the more than $26 billion in U.S. humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan since 2001, she said.

"This conference is our chance to help the people of Afghanistan build the civic and economic institutions that can withstand these forces of oppression," Bush said. "We all know that success will not be easy, but Afghanistan has reached a decisive moment for its future. We must not turn our backs on this opportunity."

Representative from more than 80 countries attended the conference.

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