Mullen renews US commitment to Afghanistan
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed a number of topics, including the security to transition to Afghan forces, with President Hamid Karzai.
During a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Mullen and Karzai also conferred on efforts against administrative corruption, as well as strengthening and equipping the Afghan army and police.
A statement from Karzai's office said the president briefed the visiting dignitary on his talks with a high-ranking Pakistani delegation, led by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
After bilateral talks with Gilani on Saturday, Karzai announced the constitution of a joint Afghan-Pakistan commission to promote peace and stability in the region. Both sides backed the draft US-Afghan strategic cooperation agreement.
During the security transfer, to be completed in 2014, the international community should ponder ways of continued economic assistance to Afghanistan to enable the country to become self-reliant, the president stressed.
The transition is scheduled to get under way in July this year in Bamyan, Panjsher, Kabul, Helmand, Herat, Laghman and Balkh provinces.
"Nighttime operations could affect our joint fight against terrorism," Karzai warned.
The US remained committed to long-term cooperation with the Afghan government, including in the security control transfer and peace talks with the insurgents, Mullen assured Karzai.
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