Obama talks to Afghan president about Koran burning

09:05, April 07, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Wednesday deplored the desecration of the Koran and "strongly condemned" the consequential deadly attack on the UN mission in northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Speaking via video teleconference, the two leaders expressed " deep regret" for the tragic loss of life, as eight UN workers were killed on April 1 when the burning of Koran in Florida on March 20 sparked protests and some protesters opened fire, killing eight workers of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Mazar-e-Sharif office.

The two presidents made clear that it is "an affront to human decency and dignity" to attack and kill innocent people and agreed that "now is a time for our two nations to come together, in the pursuit of common values and common goals," the White House said.

In their one-hour talk, the two leaders also discussed other topics, including transition to Afghan security lead starting in July and the ongoing strategic partnership negotiations between their countries, the White House said.

It said Obama welcomed Karzai's announcement on March 22 of the first tranche of provinces and municipalities to begin transition to Afghan lead, adding that the two leaders "agreed on the importance of reestablishing peace in Afghanistan through progress on transition, an enduring U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership and reconciliation."

The video teleconference came one day after the White House sent a report to Congress stating that the Taliban has gained strength in Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan in recent months despite a sustained government offensive.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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