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Karzai to kick off crucial US visit

Published on Jan 8, 2013 2:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai is due to begin a four-day US trip on Tuesday during which he will meet US President Barack Obama for crucial talks on the future of the American presence in Afghanistan.

Friday's meeting at the White House will come just days after Mr Obama put the finishing touches to his security team, having named his picks to head the State Department, Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency.

Officials have said a decision could be made during Mr Karzai's official visit on how many US troops will stay in Afghanistan after 2014.

Talks with high-ranking US officials will focus on security, economic and political transition, equipping and strengthening Afghan forces, efforts to negotiate peace with Taliban-led insurgents and a security agreement with the United States, Mr Karzai's office said.

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