Obama calls Karzai ahead of Afghan war review: Kabul



Kabul: President Barack Obama discussed the US review of the war in Afghanistan with Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Thursday, with both stressing a "focus on the sanctuary of terrorists", Kabul said.

The phrase is an apparent reference to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, which is a base for Taliban fighters operating in Afghanistan and the global headquarters of al Qaeda.

Obama called Karzai and the two agreed that security improvements in some areas must be built upon further, Karzai's office said.

The United States is expected to say today that its strategy against the nine-year Taliban insurgency is on track in the review of the surge implemented last year which saw an extra 30,000 US troops sent to Afghanistan.

"Both presidents agreed that security gains had been made in many areas in Afghanistan and that improvements in security and stability in some provinces required to be consolidated," the statement said.

"Both presidents also emphasised that a sustainable success required focus on the sanctuary of the terrorists."

US-led troops are fighting to reverse the Taliban insurgency against Karzai's government, which is supported by the West.

PTI