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Karzai, Biden Meet in Afghanistan


Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai (R) and US Vice President Joe Biden (L) arrive for a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul on 11 Jan, 2011.

Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai (R) and US Vice President Joe Biden (L) arrive for a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul on 11 Jan, 2011.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday as the top U.S. official continues his fact-finding mission on the situation in Afghanistan.

Tuesday is the second day of Biden's unannounced trip to Afghanistan to assess progress toward the transition to Afghan-led security beginning this year and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to a long-term partnership with the country.

Shortly after arriving in Kabul Monday, Biden met with General David Petraeus, the commander of international troops in Afghanistan, and the U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry.

A senior White House official said Biden's visit comes at a "really pivotal point," as the role of U.S. forces in Afghanistan shifts.

The Obama administration has said it will begin transferring security responsibilities to Afghanistan's national army this year - a gradual transition that will be complete in 2014.

Last week, the United States announced it is sending an additional 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan on a 90-day deployment, to bolster combat forces in southern Afghanistan, the heart of the Taliban insurgency.

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