Obama supports Afghan-led peace campaign
WASHINGTON/KABUL (PAN): US President Barack Obama, in a video conference with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, reiterated his commitment to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
“The leaders reaffirmed that an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region..." the White House said on Tuesday.
It was the first call between the two leaders after the opening of the Taliban bureau in Doha last week, a move that sparked new tensions between the allies.
In Kabul, a statement from the Presidential Palace said the two leaders also conferred on relations between Afghanistan and its neighbours. During the 90-minute conversation, they agreed to remain in touch on questions of bilateral importance.
“Karzai updated the president regarding preparations for Afghanistan’s 2014 elections, including the status of electoral legislation under review by Afghan leaders. The two presidents reaffirmed that free, fair and credible elections would be critical to Afghanistan’s future,” the White House said.
They discussed a range of issues, including transition of operational lead from coalition to Afghan security forces earlier this month, negotiations on the Bilateral Security Agreement.
“Specifically, the president welcomed the passage on June 18 of a milestone, which the two leaders agreed to during their January summit in Washington as the point at which Afghan security forces would take the lead for operations countrywide,” the White House said.
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