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U.S., Afghan presidents discuss security responsibility transitions

(Xinhua)

11:07, August 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Friday discussed progress in handing over security responsibility towards a full Afghan lead in 2014.

The White House said in a statement on Friday that the two leaders spoke via video teleconference for about 30 minutes on a number of topics, including "progress by coalition and Afghan national security forces as security responsibility transitions towards a full Afghan lead in 2014," and their work together to forge "a long-term strategic partnership."

They also discussed "their shared commitment to Afghan-led reconciliation and support for a strategy of regional engagement," the White House said.

It said the two leaders looked ahead to a regional summit slated for Nov. in Istanbul, Turkey and an international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany in Dec., and agreed to maintain their close consultations going forward.

Obama and Karzai reaffirmed their commitment to the mission in Afghanistan in a phone conversation on Sunday, one day after a helicopter crash killed 30 American service members, the largest single-day loss of U.S. forces in the decade-long Afghan war.

On Thursday, Obama and his national security team were briefed via video conference by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force General John Allen about the situation in Afghanistan.

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