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Bush, Karzai, discuss Afghan security

, Aug 23 (AFP) US President George W Bush telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss issues like security in post-Taliban Afghanistan, the White House said.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 06:24 IST

US President George W Bush telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss issues like security in post-Taliban Afghanistan, the White House said.

Bush "called president Karzai to congratulate him on Afghanistan's Independence Day. They discussed security, education and regional cooperation," spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on Monday.

The conversation lasted about 10 minutes, according to Perino, who said nothing about the statement from Karzai's office that the Afghan leader had accepted Bush's invitation to visit the United States.

In Kabul, Karzai's office said Bush had invited the Afghan leader during their conversation, but did not specify a date.

The United States led the invasion that toppled the extremist Taliban from power in late 2001 when it failed to surrender Al-Qaeda leaders behind the September 11 terrorist attacks.

It now has about 20,000 troops in the country leading the hunt for Taliban and other insurgents, and is also the main provider of financial aid to the war-ravaged central Asian country.

Karzai, often praised by US officials for his role as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president, last visited the United States in mid-2005.