International conference on Afghanistan to open in The Hague
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was Tuesday due to outline her administration's new strategy for Afghanistan at a conference in The Hague attended by more than 70 countries, including Pakistan and Iran, dpa reported.
The so-called "big tent" meeting, organized by the Dutch government and co-hosted by the United Nations, was taking place amid tight security in the Netherlands' administrative capital.
Dutch government officials said ahead of the meeting that they wished to see the talks focus on Afghanistan's civil reconstruction.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was expected to open the conference by urging its participants to show their political support for Afghanistan and commit themselves to its stability and recovery.
The European Union was among the participants expected to announce more aid for Afghanistan.
Speaking on her way to Europe, Clinton said the new US government of President Barack Obama had stopped referring to the "global war on terror" - a phrase widely used by the previous administration of George W Bush to justify its actions in the region.
Clinton also told reporters that her country had "very little credibility" in Afghanistan to deliver aid and development programmes - hence the need for her country to cooperate more with regional players.
While Obama has vowed to intensify the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, his new approach to the problem also involves more money for civilian reconstruction, increased training of the Afghan police and its army, and wider consultations with players in the region, including foes like Iran.
Clinton called for the "Big Tent" conference on Afghanistan at a NATO meeting in Brussels on March 5.