US Petraeus meets Karzai after new supply routes deal

Karzai told parliament that civilians deaths at the hands of foreign troops was a main source of instability in Afghanistan.

US Petraeus meets Karzai after new supply routes deal

U.S. General David Petraeus met Afghan President Hamid Karzai overnight, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, after the regional military chief said deals had been made on new transport routes into Afghanistan from Central Asia.

Petraeus arrived in the Afghan capital late on Tuesday from Pakistan after visiting Afghanistan's northern neighbours Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. He met Karzai and left shortly afterwards, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. military has had to look at new ways for its supplies its troops in the landlocked country, where U.S. forces occupied in 2001, from the north.

Taliban fighters have attacked and prevented dozens of trucks carrying supplies on the main route through Pakistan.

President Barack Obama is expected to soon approve plans to almost double the 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as part of his pledge to make the war one of his top priorities.

"During this visit, they discussed and exchanged views on their common relations and the way to prevent civilian casualties and gain the trust of the people," Karzai's office said in a statement.

The meeting came only hours after Karzai told parliament that civilians deaths at the hands of foreign troops was a main source of instability in Afghanistan.

International forces killed hundreds of civilians last year, aid groups say. A rights group warned last week that if U.S. military procedures did not change, more foreign troops could mean more casualties.

Reuters
Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2009, 16:18
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