Obama discusses Afghan war with Karzai

Obama discusses Afghan war with Karzai

Kabul: US President Barack Obama held a video call with Afghan head of state Hamid Karzai to discuss the war on the Taliban and progress in eradicating corruption, the Kabul government said.

In the “teleconference" which lasted at least an hour, Obama reaffirmed “US long-term commitment for a prosperous and stable Afghanistan," Karzai’s office said.

Karzai’s government depends on the support of Washington and other Western allies in the battle against insurgents destabilizing much of the country through shadow administrations and connections with drug traffickers.

The US and Nato have at least 121,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to rise to 150,000 by August as part of a revamped strategy to reverse the Taliban momentum, particularly in the south, and hasten an end to the war.

Obama and Karzai discussed Afghan efforts at reconciling Taliban fighters, a key part of Kabul’s plan to draw low and mid-level insurgent gunmen back to the government side with promises of jobs and cash.

“President Karzai briefed the US President on Afghanistan’s efforts for acceleration of the peace and reconciliation process, which President Obama welcomed and declared support (for)," the statement said.