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Europe will increase its aid to Afghanistan despite concerns the situation in the central Asian country is deteriorating. The decision was announced during a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

"There's a new recognition in the global debate that while security efforts in Afghanistan are exceedingly important, critical and we can never succeed if we don't manage to build a basic state with basic governance that can provide basic security in the area between Central Asia and South Asia," Carl Bildt, Sweden's FM said. "That requires a lot of strategic patience and this is not going to happen overnight. And it requires clearly a more determined effort on the civilian and political sides. And here the European Union is now - I wouldn't say taking the lead -- but clearly stepping up efforts."

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