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Afghan Leaders Cancel Security Talks in Washington, Little Says

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Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Afghan leaders have canceled security talks that were scheduled for this week in Washington, Pentagon spokesman George Little said in an e-mailed statement.

The officials, including the defense and interior ministers “are consulting this week with others in the Afghan government and Afghan religious leaders on how to protect” U.S. and NATO personnel “and quell violence in the country,” Little said.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta “understands why that’s a priority and why they are unable to travel to Washington in the coming says. He looks forward to hosting them at the Pentagon in the near future.”

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan withdrew all international military personnel from Afghan government ministries in Kabul over the weekend after two Americans were killed on the fifth day of violent protests over the burning of the Koran at a coalition military base. For Related News and Information: Top Stories:{TOP<GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Viola Gienger in Washington at vgienger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ann Hughey at ahughey@bloomberg.net

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