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Afghan President Respects Decision to Replace McChrystal

President Hamid Karzai's spokesman says the Afghan leader respects U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to replace the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

Waheed Omar told reporters Wednesday that President Karzai looks forward to working with McChrystal's replacement, General David Petraeus, who has been the head of U.S. Central Command.

President Obama announced McChrystal's resignation Wednesday after the U.S. general was summoned to the White House to explain disparaging comments he made about the president and other top administration officials in an article published in Rolling Stone magazine.

Earlier in the day, President Karzai and other Afghan officials pledged support for McChrystal, warning that his removal would hurt counter-insurgency efforts.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said there have been many positive changes since McChrystal took command, including a decrease in civilian casualties.