Obama Praises Afghan, Pakistan Commitments

Delicate diplomacy ends with unified resolve to fight militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2009 4:15 PM CDT
Clinton told Karzai that the Obama administration "deeply, deeply" regretted the loss of civilian lives in a bombing in Afghanistan two days ago.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama said he got the commitments he wanted today from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to more aggressively fight militants gaining power and sowing violence inside their countries' borders. The high-stakes diplomacy had Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari meeting with officials separately and together. Looming over talks was a recent bombing that killed Afghan civilians, for which Obama apologized.

Obama emphasized the progress he said was achieved in the joint meetings. Gathering the three leaders together at one table, along with lower-level officials from the three countries, "reflects the kind of concrete cooperation and detail that is going to ultimately make a difference in improving opportunity and democracy and stability in Pakistan and in Afghanistan," he said.