Obama calls Karzai; discusses Kandahar operation

US President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai discussed the stabilisation effort in restive Kandahar province, the White House said.

Washington: US President Barack Obama and
his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai Wednesday discussed the
stabilisation effort in Afghanistan`s restive Kandahar
province, the White House said.

"The two leaders focused primarily on plans to
stabilize Kandahar City and the close alignment between our
two governments there," White House Press Secretary Robert
Gibbs said at his daily news conference.

"They received a briefing from senior US and Afghan
officials detailing their plans to provide better security,
improve governance and increase economic opportunities," he
said, adding that they had a productive video teleconference.

Obama and Karzai agreed on the need to make tough
decisions on a range of issues, including removing corrupt
officials, eliminating sources of corruption and providing the
people of Kandahar better access to government services, Gibbs
said.

"They both emphasized their plans to monitor progress
in Kandahar closely. The two also agreed on the importance of
the US-Afghanistan long-term relationship, and plan to discuss
the joint effort to negotiate a new strategic partnership
declaration during their next conversation," Gibbs said.

"It is important that President Karzai have confidence
in the entire team. I think many people enjoy at a number of
different levels on that team, enjoy good relationships with
President Karzai," he said in response to a question about
General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the US and NATO
forces in Afghanistan.

McChrystal was not part of the briefing between the
two leaders.

PTI

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