News / Asia

Obama, Karzai Seek To Improve US-Afghan Ties

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai at the White House Wednesday. Both leaders are hoping to improve relations between their countries, after a period of tension.    

While the Obama administration is expected to urge Mr. Karzai to do more to fight corruption in his government, both leaders seem eager to use the Afghan leader's four-day visit to put their relations back on track.

After President Obama visited Afghanistan in March, Mr. Karzai criticized some U.S. and Western policies in his country.

Since arriving in Washington Monday, Mr. Karzai has met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will meet with top U.S. lawmakers, to continue efforts to improve the atmosphere.

Mr. Obama will spend almost a full day with the Afghan president on Wednesday, including a lunch and a joint news conference.

However, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says the meetings are aimed at accomplishing specific goals in Afghanistan, not on personal relationships. "We have a job to do with a partner in the government and the country of Afghanistan.  That is what the president's focus is.  That is what the team's focus is.  We are not going to get bogged down in atmospherics or personalities," he said.

While in Washington, President Karzai wants more information on Mr. Obama's plans to begin the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by mid-2011.  He is also expected to convey his concerns about civilian casualties from the U.S. and NATO military mission in his country.

Some of Wednesday's discussions will address the development of Afghanistan's army and police, and joint operations to secure the southern city of Kandahar.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, said this week cooperation in Kandahar is vital. "This effort is being led by the Afghans and will focus on the complex political and governance aspects of Kandahar.  These dimensions are at the heart of the problem, and their solution will ultimately be decisive," he said.

The Obama administration is still concerned about government corruption in Afghanistan.  But instead of criticizing the Karzai government, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the U.S. will help Afghan leaders fight corruption. "We are going to laud them for the steps that they take, and we are going to work with them to do it as necessary to deal with the problems of governance, accountability and corruption," he said.

Gibbs says Mr. Karzai's government is making progress in fighting corruption and improving governance. "There are high-level corruption trials that are going on right now.  The High Office of Oversight now operates with a mission to increase its accountability.  And we are watching, as we will always, the implementation of that," he said.

The U.S.-Afghan relationship grew contentious when U.S. officials searched for a candidate to challenge President Karzai in elections last August.  Mr. Karzai won another five-year term amid allegations of fraud and criticism from Washington.

As the two sides work to improve relations, Robert Gibbs now refers to the U.S. relationship with the Karzai government as a partnership.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid