Obama calls Karzai; discusses security situation

US President Barack Obama called his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to discuss the current economic situation in the war-ravaged country and the progress in security transition.

Washington: US President Barack Obama on Friday
called his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to discuss the
current economic situation in the war-ravaged country and the
progress in security transition.

In a telephone call early today, Obama called and
congratulated Karzai and his wife on the birth of their
daughter.

"The two leaders took the opportunity to reaffirm our
shared commitment to the Lisbon framework, in which Afghan
forces would complete the process of transition and have full
responsibility for security across the country by the end of
2014," the White House said.

"The two leaders also affirmed that they share the goal of
building capable Afghan security forces and strengthening
Afghan sovereignty so that Afghans are increasingly in charge
of their own security, with the lead for combat operations
shifting to Afghan forces, with US forces in support, in
2013," it added.

The two leaders also discussed Karzai`s recent reiteration
of his longstanding concerns regarding night raids and house
searches and recommitted to conclude ongoing negotiations on a
Memorandum of Understanding to resolve those concerns, it
said.

The two leaders also agreed to further discuss concerns
voiced by Karzai about the presence of foreign troops in
Afghan villages.

"Obama reiterated that he looks forward to welcoming
President Karzai to the NATO Summit in Chicago in May, where
they, along with our NATO Allies and ISAF partners, will
together define the next phase of transition," the White House
said.

PTI

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