Friday, March 04, 2011

Afghanistan: Readout of Obama's Teleconference with President Karzai and National Security Council Meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan

Source: Government of the United States of America

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama spoke with President Karzai yesterday via video teleconference. The two leaders spoke for approximately one hour and discussed a number of topics, including the beginning of transition to Afghan security lead, the renewal of the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Declaration, and the beginning of U.S. troop reductions in July. Both leaders agreed that the United States and Afghanistan should continue to work together to advance a political outcome to the war in Afghanistan and President Obama reaffirmed his support for an Afghan-led political process. The two leaders agreed on the importance of resolving the issues facing Kabul Bank. President Obama expressed his deep regret for the tragic accident in Kunar Province in which nine Afghans were killed. The President conveyed his condolences to the Afghan people and stressed that he and General Petraeus take such incidents very seriously. President Obama and President Karzai agreed that such incidents undermine our shared efforts in fighting terrorism.

President Obama met with his national security team today for his regular monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama received an update on our regional diplomatic efforts, including the successful meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The President underscored the importance of continued international support for peace and stability in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, specifically support for Afghan-led reconciliation. The President received an update on the security situation on the ground, including our efforts to prevent civilian casualties and sustain the gains that have been made over the last several months. Finally, the President and his team reviewed our efforts to advance the transition process that was embraced in Lisbon, with the transition to Afghan-lead beginning this year, U.S. troop reductions beginning in July, and the transition to Afghan lead being completed by the end of 2014.