Obama Meets Afghan Prez

Candidate lunches with the leader he criticized a week ago
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 7:18 AM CDT
Barack Obama sits with a U.S. soldier of Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan during a breakfast as he visits Camp Eggers in Kabul, Sunday, July 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/US Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, HO)
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(Newser) – World-touring Barack Obama sat down with Hamid Karzai today, joining the Afghan president for lunch at his Kabul palace. Although Obama criticized the leader's government as recently as last week, he expected to steer clear of arguments in today's meeting, Reuters reports. "I'm more interested in listening than doing a lot of talking," he said before his US departure.

Obama has been traveling with a heavily guarded delegation. The group joined US soldiers for breakfast and discussed the troops' experiences in a region experiencing a sharp rise in violence. Obama has called for more troops to head to Afghanistan to balance what he characterizes as the Bush administration's "single-minded" focus on Iraq.