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August 6, 2007
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Headline News of August 6, 2007
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BBC news transcript with photos
Transcript in the news of August 6, 2007 (With some misspelled words)  

Afghanistan's deteriorating security situation is at the centre of talks at the U.S. Presidential retreat at camp David. The Afghan leader Hamid Karzai  is holding discussions with George Bush. President Karzai  is expected to raise questions about mounting civilian casualties during NATO operations against the Taliban. From Washington, let's get a report now from the bbc's Jane O'brien. 46B71E59.JPG

>> The talks at camp David have become something of an annual event with the two presidents keen to put on a united front and show mutual support. Mr. Karzai  in particular wants the U.S. To step up pressure on Pakistan to do more to stop foreign fighters crossing the border into Afghanistan.

>> Of course, yes, we will talk about the situation on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. I think there's no doubt that things have changed in terms of even Pakistani perception of what needs to be done in the frontier areas, and that's why the Pakistani army has been much more active there.

>> Also high on the agenda is the rise in the number of Afghan civilians mistakenly killed by the international forces fighting the insurgency. Mr. Karzai wants assurances from Mr. Bush that more will be done to protect them.

>> For domestic political reason, president Karzai , as he does at home, will here as well say, for heaven's sake, you've got to be more careful. You've got to tell the forces targeting and that when there are civilians in harm's way, they should cease and desist.

>> Overshadowing the talks is the ongoing hostage crisis involving the 21 South Korean volunteers kidnapped by the Taliban. The U.S. Is under pressure from South Korea to intervene, but supports Mr. Karzai 's refusal to strike any deal that may require further hostage taking.

>> Jane O'brien, bbc news, Washington.

Leaders vow 'an end to Taleban'
George Bush (L) and Hamid Karzai at Camp David
Fears have been growing for the fate of the Korean hostages
US President George Bush and the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, have vowed to put an end to the Taleban in Afghanistan.

After two days of talks in the United States, President Karzai said the Taleban were a defeated force which no longer endangered his government.

They said they would not bargain with the Taleban over 21 South Korean hostages being held in Afghanistan.

Two South Koreans from the abducted Christian group have been killed by the Taleban, who demand a prisoner swap.

A US presidential spokesman said there would be no "quid pro quo" over the captives - 18 of them women - who were seized on 19 July from a bus in Ghazni.

Following talks at Camp David, Maryland, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said: "Both leaders agreed that in negotiations for the release, there should be no quid pro quo for the hostages.

"The Taleban are brutal and should not be emboldened by this."

A man who claims to speak for the Taleban had earlier told the BBC that the hostages' fate was in the two leaders' hands.

South Korean protester
A demonstrator in Seoul protests against US policy in Afghanistan
He also said the Taleban would continue its kidnapping policy whether or not there was an exchange.

In Seoul, a South Korean presidential spokesman said the government wanted to "work separately" from the Bush-Karzai summit to resolve the issue of the captive Christian aid workers.

About 100 protesters rallied near the US embassy in Seoul on Monday and handed in a letter addressed to Mr Bush.

At Camp David, Mr Bush and Mr Karzai presented a united front in their joint news conference and insisted progress was being made in Afghanistan.

President Bush said five million children - a third of them girls - were now going to school.

Iran criticism

President Karzai said 85,000 children aged under five were alive thanks to healthcare improvements made since the Taleban regime was toppled in 2001.

But Mr Bush said he did not agree with remarks Mr Karzai made in an interview with CNN last Sunday, in which he said the Iranians were helping, rather than hindering, Afghanistan.

The US president said Tehran was "not a force for good" and vowed that the US would continue efforts to isolate it.

"I believe it is in the interests of all of us that we have an Iran that tries to stabilise not destabilise, an Iran that gives up its weapons ambitions and therefore we are working to that end," he said.

An Afghan boy reportedly injured in the air strike in a hospital in Helmand (3 August 2007)
Bush and Karzai discussed civilian casualties

Praising his Afghan ally, Mr Bush said: "There is still work to be done, don't get me wrong. But progress is being made, Mr President, and we're proud of you."

Afghan security was the key issue in the leaders' two-day meeting, as well as the booming trade in illegal drugs, a resurgent Taleban and civilian killings.

Mr Karzai insisted the Taleban were not a long-term threat.

He said: "They're not posing any threat to the institutions of Afghanistan.

"It's a force that's defeated. It's a force that is frustrated. It's a force that is acting in cowardice by killing children going to school."

Mr Karzai said he had broached the subject of the growing number of civilians killed in US and Nato military operations in Afghanistan with the US leader.

He said: "He is as much concerned as I am, as the Afghan people are. I was very happy with that conversation."

* Because production of these transcripts depend on a variety of factors, there are occasional spelling errors.

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