May 12th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Highlights from Karzai's meeting with Obama

President Obama said Wednesday he is "confident" his administration will meet its self-imposed deadline to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011. "We are not suddenly, as of July 2011, finished with Afghanistan," he said after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "This is a long-term partnership."

Obama welcomed Karzai to the White House on Wednesday for a second day of a series of high-level discussions regarding the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Karzai huddled on Tuesday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Karzai also will meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders later in the day.

Below are some highlights from their news conference on Wednesday:

Obama 'confident' U.S. can start withdrawing troops in July 2011
Obama said Wednesday he is "confident" his administration will meet its self-imposed deadline to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July of 2011.

But there's "going to be some hard fighting" over the next few months, he warned. Taliban and other extremist forces are "tough," he said.

He also stressed that the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan will continue long after the deadline.

"We are not suddenly, as of July 2011, finished with Afghanistan," he said during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House. "This is a long-term partnership."

Obama reaffirms U.S. partnership with Afghan government
Obama said that the United States is committed to a "stable, strong, and prosperous" Afghanistan. He said there is "no denying the progress that the Afghan people have made in recent years," but also said the country still faces major challenges, including "a brutal insurgency."

The U.S. and Afghan governments have reaffirmed their intention to "disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" al Qaeda and its allies, the president said, and noted that U.S. military forces have regained the momentum in Afghanistan.

Karzai praises Obama for stronger U.S. efforts in Afghanistan
Karzai thanked Obama for adding "considerable resources" to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

Speaking after a meeting at the White House, Karzai said the two leaders had "a very frank and productive" discussion about, among other things, the protection of Afghan civilians in light of the stronger U.S. military campaign.

He also said the transfer of local detention centers to the Afghan government was a "major point of progress" in the discussions.

Obama, Karzai dismiss reports of heightened tensions
Obama said that many recent reports of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Afghan governments "were simply overstated."

There will be tensions in "such a complicated and difficult environment," he said in the joint appearance with Karzai at the White House. But "our job is to be a good friend and to be frank with President Karzai."

Karzai's role, in turn, is partly to ensure Afghan sovereignty is respected, he said.

"I am very comfortable with the strong effort that President Karzai has made so far," Obama said. "There are going to be setbacks" and disagreements, but "we share a broad strategy" that can hopefully be set out "in a declaration by the end of this year."

Karzai, in turn, said that the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship is "strong and well-rooted" and has endured. "There are moments ... we speak frankly to each other," he conceded. But those exchanges only add to relationship, he said.

Karzai defends recent meeting with Iranian leader
Karzai defended his recent meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, telling reporters at the White House on Wednesday that while Afghanistan is "a partner and friend" of the United States, it also wants to "remain friendly" with its neighbors.

Alluding to tensions between the United States and Iran, Karzai said he wishes "both countries the best."

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Filed under: Karzai • Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. CW

    I've got an idea that will fix two things at once: Illegal immigration and the Taliban: Instead of carting captured illegal immigrants back south of the border, send them to Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., to fight the Taliban. Tell them: ".... When the Talioban are finished, extinct, wiped off the face of this Earth, we'll bring you back, *give* you American citizenship, and *all *that goes with it(i.e., taxes)and let you stay in the US. How does that sound, folks?

    May 13, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Robert -- Southern CA

    Obama should listen more to Hillary, Gates, Mullen, McChrystal and Holbrooke, and listen less to Axelrod, Gibbs, Garrett, Plouffe, and left-wing pundits.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Iraq Paramedic

    #6 Angela, Very well put my good & faithfull sister. Remember Ezekeil chapters 38-39 & the great vision shown to our brother John told in the book of Revelations. Stand fast & hold on to your faith for the son of GOD, JESUS CHRIST will be sent soon by his father to cleanse this earth.
    I believe Kharzi is not the man he started out to be when ODA 574 sweat & bled to give him a reputation. I believe he was doing a very good job of acting back then as he is trying to do now. The Afghan people will never respect someone who was hand picked by another country.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jamshid

    President Obama said Wednesday he is "confident" his administration will meet its self-imposed deadline to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011. "We are not suddenly, as of July 2011, finished with Afghanistan," he said after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "This is a long-term partnership." that way the say like that, thus he lost his administrotion

    May 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angela

    TRUST IN GOD
    Sometimes we do not understand why world leaders take new direction which most of the time surprises or shocks us. Please believe that God is in control. "The end of the world will be like birth-pangs," meaning, periods of war and periods of peace. When He answeres our prayers, believe that He has. Unbelief brings disaster. If world leaders do wrong, report them to the Almighty, Most High God, creator of Heaven and Earth. Jehovah. His Mighty Holy name will be restored in the earth. He is all powerful and will swiftly deal with them.
    MESSAGE TO AMERICA
    Trust in the God of your forefathers who founded your country. Trust Him completely. He never fails. It is we who fail Him. Amend your ways and be saved from what is coming. Pray fervantly for your President. Pray for his protection. Repent of your sins America, and the sins of your forfathers and He who hears the faintest prayer in any storm will answere. God's door of mercy still stands ajar. Repentance is mostly required of America because America has mostly been entrusted with God's blessings.Our finite minds cannot comprehend the love of God towards our evil ways. But His mercy will not forever strive with man. If He does not destroy evil in the human race, the human race will utterly destroy itself.
    With love from South Africa.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. maty

    @Joey Tx
    Woo, you're a complete jag off!

    May 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. maty

    Why is there no mention of the fact that Obama has agreed to an initiative by Karzai to give money and jobs to Taliban who "lay down" their weapons and "renounce" violence? Only mention the supposed "spat" between the two? CNN is just about worthless.

    May 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Tx

    Soldier, The report has always been to begin withrawal in Summer of 2011. There you go again with your selective understanding. Oops sorry, i forgot you were brain dead.

    May 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Soldier

    I thought we were going to be out of Afghanistan by Summer 2011? I guess this is the change that never comes. More of the same from the left...rhetoric over reality. When can we be honest to our brave service members?

    May 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Onesmallvoice

    Does Hamid Karzai really have a choice inthe matter?It would do quite well to remember what happened in South Vietnam in 1963 to both Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu after it was discovered that they were negotiating secretly with the Viet Cong.Karzai knows that he can only stay in power as long as Washington permits him to and therfore he hardly has a choice but to play ball.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |