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Top US Commander in Afghanistan Meets President Karzai in Kabul


The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq has met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

U.S. officials say General David Petraeus and Mr. Karzai discussed how to combat regional terrorism, prevent civilian casualties and gain the trust of the Afghan people during their meeting late Tuesday.

The talks came shortly after Mr. Karzai told parliament that he can no longer tolerate civilian deaths resulting from U.S. and NATO air strikes.

Mr. Karzai said that although he supports efforts to battle extremists in Afghanistan, the U.S. and its Western allies must do more to reduce the risks to civilians.

Earlier Tuesday General Petraeus was in Pakistan for meetings with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

General Petraeus said they discussed ways to counter extremists who cross the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistani officials say they also expressed concern about America's use of drones in the border regions.

Petraeus also announced that the United States will have the use of new supply routes to Afghanistan from Russia and several Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Petraeus is expected to fly back to the U.S. for a meeting Wednesday with President Barack Obama and other top military and defense officials.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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