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Bildt defends embattled US General McChrystal

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Bildt defends embattled US General McChrystal
17:51 CEST+02:00
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has defended embattled US General Stanley McChrystal on Wednesday amid the ongoing fallout over inflammatory remarks allegedly made in a Rolling Stone interview.

US President Barack Obama met McChrystal, the country's top commander in Afghanistan, for half-hour one-on-one talks Wednesday in Washington amid speculation that the four-star US general might be fired for disparaging remarks in the article.

"In order to be successful in our operations in Afghanistan, we need

long-term stability and strategic patience in what we do," Bildt told a news

conference.

In Rolling Stone's profile, titled "The Runaway General," McChrystal aides

mocked US Vice President Joe Biden, dismissed Obama's national security

adviser as "a clown" and revealed that McChrystal was "disappointed" by his

first meeting with Obama.

On his blog, Bildt said that the possibility the general would be fired was

"clearly disappointing" and downplayed the comments as "not well

thought out."

"I have read the article mentioned and the only quote of General

McChrystal I've noticed, is that he notices he gets 'another e-mail' from

Richard Holbrooke," Bildt told reporters, referring to the US special envoy to

the region.

"The rest is said by other people. Let's say that I have myself worked with

Mr. Holbrooke through the years, so I understand the sentiment expressed," he added ironically. "I'm not the American authorities, but I wouldn't bother too much."

Sweden has contributed 500 soldiers to the international force in

Afghanistan.

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