Harper makes final plea – Metro US

Harper makes final plea

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will today have a final opportunity to underline Canada’s make-or-break policy in Afghanistan as NATO leaders gather in the Romanian capital of Bucharest in a summit to revive the flagging mission.
Even as his cabinet colleagues play down expectations for a breakthrough, Harper is to take centre stage alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the secretary-generals of both NATO and the United Nations in a panel discussion titled “Afghanistan: Success not in Sight, Failure not an Option.”
Harper’s appearance alongside the three principal players in the Afghan effort — described by one NATO insider as “a gesture of respect for Canada” — comes amid deepening concerns the Bucharest sum mit will fall significantly short of its goal of levelling the burden borne by the 39 nations involved in Afghanistan.
Mixed messages continued to cast doubts of what is to be announced tomorrow, when the leaders hope to emerge from a closed-door session with a positive response to Ottawa’s demands for a minimum 1,000 additional soldiers to extend to 2011 the mission in restive Kandahar Province.

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