KABUL (Agencies) - The top US military commander and special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived in Kabul Sunday for high-level talks, a US official said, after Nato backed a new US strategy for the region. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke would be in Afghanistan for a 'few days, a US military spokesman told AFP. They will be meeting high-level officials in the Afghan govt as well the international military, Colonel Greg Julian said. The top US military commander said about 17,000 extra US troops headed to Afghanistan will allow security forces to begin overcoming the Taliban in the volatile south. I am convinced that the additional military capacity will certainly start to allow us to turn the tide (against the Taliban-led insurgency) in the south where it has not gone well, Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters on the first day of a trip to Kabul. The trends in the south and east for the last few years are all going in the wrong direction, said Adm Mullen, who is the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Holbrooke said a focus of the trip was presidential elections due in August for which the United States would push for fair competition among the candidates amid concern that Karzai will benefit from his position. It will be a primary goal of the embassy ... to press for a level playing field, free fair and open elections, the envoy said. We are going to work very closely with our military at Isaf, with the UN and with all the other countries represented here, he said. Holbrooke and Mullen also stressed the need for a regional solution to stem the insurgency in Afghanistan with special emphasis on Pakistan where insurgents have bases. This would include countries like China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and also Iran, despite Washingtons difficult relationship with the latter. The door is open for Irans participation in dialogue, through whatever forms work for them, on Afghanistan, without in any way diminishing the very serious disagreements and different points of view that exist on other issues, Holbrooke said. The envoy said he had a brief meeting with the Iranian representative to last weeks conference on Afghanistan at The Hague but, I wasnt trying to start a dialogue. The meeting, which drew together dozens of countries and agencies, focused on a new US strategy for impoverished Afghanistan with insurgency-linked violence at the deadliest since the Taliban were removed from government in a US-led invasion in late 2001. Washington attacked when the hardliners did not surrender their Al-Qaeda allies wanted after the September 11 attacks that killed around 3,000 people in the United States. They (extremists) continue to plan and plot to do it again, Mullen said. That is why it is so important that the safe haven in Pakistan be eliminated and the conditions in Afghanistan ... do not return to an environment in which the safe haven that was here could return, he said.