Ahmadzai, Abdullah invited to White House
KABUL/WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): For the first time after the political transition in Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama spoke with his Afghan counterpart Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai over the telephone late on Wednesday.
Also present during the video conference between the two leaders was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. A brief statement from the Presidential Palace announced the contact but gave no details of the issues the presidents discussed.
During the video call, the first between the two leaders after the peaceful transfer of power, Obama invited Ahmadzai, and Abdullah to the White House early next year.
He commended the president and CEO on their political agreement, reaffirmed US commitment to support the unity government and congratulated the two on a productive first month for the new government.
The White House said: "The presidents discussed strengthening the Afghan forces to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, American and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, and near-term Afghan budgetary reform and longer-term fiscal sustainability."
This was Obama’s first video conference call with Ahmedzai and Dr Abdullah after the peaceful transfer of power. Obama reaffirmed US commitment to support the unity government, and congratulated the two leaders on a productive first month for the new government, the White House said.
“The presidents discussed strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, American and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, and near-term Afghan budgetary reform and longer-term fiscal sustainability,” the White House said.
Obama had sent a designation to attend the Inauguration of Ahmadzai as president on September 29. John David Podesta, counselor to Obama, led the team.
During the election crisis, Obama had phoned Ahmadzai and Abdullah, calling for an early deal on the national unity government in the interest of shoring up international support for Afghanistan.
Following the unity government’s inauguration, the Obama administration has reaffirmed on several occasions America’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan.
Just a day after Ahmadzai took oath as president, the two countries signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, providing for the continued stay of a residual US force in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Since Taliban's ouster from power, the US military has lost at least 2,207 personnel in Afghanistan.
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