US defence secretary visits Afghanistan

US Secretary of Defence has arrived on an unannounced visit to Afghan to meet with troops and Afghan Prez.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2010, 12:08 PM IST

Kabul: US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates has arrived on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to meet with troops and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Gates who arrived Tuesday was scheduled to see Karzai Wednesday, Siamak Herawi, the deputy presidential spokesman, said.

The defence secretary arrived at Bagram air base north of Kabul, according to CNN.

US President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Friday. He met with troops at Bagram air base but did not see Karzai due to poor weather.

The visit was the tenth by Gates and came days before Obama was expected to come out with a progress review of the war, around one year after he deployed 30,000 extra troops to the country.

Nearly 100,000 US soldiers are currently fighting in Afghanistan.

The relationship between the US and Afghanistan has come under strain after diplomatic cables published online by WikiLeaks included scathing criticism of Karzai`s government for allegedly being corrupt and called the Afghan president "erratic".

IANS