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Karzai Says Firing McChrystal Not Helpful to Military Efforts

The Afghan government is pledging support for the embattled U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, warning that his removal will hurt counter-insurgency efforts.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Waheed Omar, says Mr. Karzai expressed confidence in McChrystal during a teleconference with U.S. President Barack Obama late Tuesday.

McChrystal has been summoned to the White House Wednesday to explain disparaging comments he made about President Obama and other top administration officials in an article published in Rolling Stone magazine.

Omar told reporters Wednesday that President Karzai believes "we are in a very sensitive juncture" in the U.S-Afghanistan partnership, the war on terror, and the process of bringing stability to Afghanistan, and that any gap in the process "will not be helpful."

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi also backed the U.S. general. He said Wednesday there have been many positive changes since the U.S. general took command, including a decrease in civilian casualties.

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