Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama meets with Karzai in surprise Afghanistan visit - washingtonpost

KABUL -- President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday, arriving under cover of darkness after a secret overnight flight to visit the war zone for the first time as president.

In a brief appearance with the Afghan leader, Obama said Americans are "encouraged by the progress that's been made" in the country. He cited the increased electricity production, visible during his flight into Kabul, as evidence. And Obama invited Karzai to Washington, a trip that the White House said will occur on May 12.

"The situation in Afghanistan is critical right now. It's unstable, unsecure, and there is concern all over the world, especially in the United States, to keep relations between these countries close," said Noor ul Haq Ulumi, who heads the defense committee in the Afghan parliament.

Ulumi said that he hoped Obama in coming months will focus less on large-scale military operations and more on government reform and development projects.

In brief public remarks from the presidential palace on Sunday night, Karzai thanked Obama for visiting, saying he hoped to "express the gratitude of our people for the help that America has given us for the last eight years." Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

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