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Obama calls Karzai; discusses security situation

March 16, 2012 22:21 IST

United States 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 on Friday, 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.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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