Obama backs Afghan Taliban effort

Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is due to meet the US President Barack Obama in the White House later on Wednesday.

Mr Karzai is in the US for four days of talks aimed at repairing rocky relations between Kabul and Washington.

On Tuesday, he met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who told that him the US would remain committed to Afghanistan long after troops left.

He also paid an emotional visit to US troops who were injured in his country, thanking them for their sacrifice.

President Karzai and President Obama are to hold a bilateral meeting and then address a joint press conference.

In the course of his visit, the Afghan president will also meet Senate and House leaders.

Crucial visit

On Tuesday, Mr Karzai and Mrs Clinton acknowledged that their differences had complicated efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.

Mr Karzai’s trip comes at a crucial time for Afghanistan.

Nato is preparing for an assault in the southern province of Kandahar, and Afghan officials are preparing for a meeting of tribal leaders who will discuss how to promote peace.

The US hopes to start pulling out troops from July 2011 but the country has seen a marked increase in violence over the past year.

Tuesday’s welcome in Washington came in stark contrast to some of the acrimony and tension that had developed in the US-Afghan relationship over the past two months.

Relations reached a low point last year after Mr Karzai won an election widely condemned for fraud.

In March, the Obama administration was using tough words, publicly accusing President Karzai of tolerating corruption and drug trafficking.

The Afghan leader accused the West of undermining him, and even threatened to join the Taliban.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *