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Obama Leans on Karzai to Beef Up Cooperation

Surprise visit to Afghanistan spotlights emphasis on civilian cooperation
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2010 2:16 PM CDT
Obama Leans on Karzai to Beef Up Cooperation
Gen. Stanley McChrystalm commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, greets President Obama at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan today is in large part intended to impress upon the Afghan government the necessity of fighting crime and corruption in preparation to govern without American intervention. After meeting with Hamid Karzai, Obama said he was happy with the military accomplishments in the country, "but we also want to make progress on the civilian front."

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On his first trip to Afghanistan since taking office, national security adviser Jim Jones said, Obama hoped to make Karzai "understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since day one." Press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted throughout the visit, describing the weather on the moonlit night and the troops who turned out for a presidential address.
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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