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Obama, Karzai to Meet on Afghanistan's Uncertain Future

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012.

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012.

President Barack Obama hosts Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House Friday to talk about the still many unanswered questions about the future of Afghanistan.

Current plans call for the United States to withdraw nearly all of its nearly 70,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

But that plan hinges on a number of conditions, including whether Afghan forces will be able to take over security at that time. It is also unclear what will be the role of the Americans who stay behind, if any do remain.

Karzai met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a working dinner Thursday in Washington.

Earlier, at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Karzai that the U.S. and Afghanistan have come a long way towards making sure Afghanistan will never again become a safe haven for terrorism.

Panetta said more than 10 years of the U.S.-led war against the Taliban have paved the way for Afghanistan to stand on its own.

Karzai expressed appreciation for the years of support from the U.S. and Afghanistan's other allies.

But while Karzai has often criticized U.S. actions in Afghanistan, he also has spoken about his desire for some U.S. presence to remain.
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