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Karzai a "critical partner" in war against terrorism: Obama

Signalling a rapprochement, US President Barack Obama today said his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai is a "critical partner" in the war against terrorism, even as he faces a challenge in his home country.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2010 21:31 IST

Signalling a rapprochement, US President Barack Obama today said his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai is a "critical partner" in the war against terrorism, even as he faces a challenge in his home country.

"I think he (Karzai) has been a partner, but I think that he has his own domestic politics that he has to deal with.

The fact is that real progress has been made, but, this is a country that went through 30 years of war.

So part of President Karzai's challenge is he's got to bring his country along into a 21st century in which it is functioning and effective," Obama said.

US President said, Karzai is committed in war against terrorism, when asked a specific question in this regard.

"I think he is committed to doing that. That doesn't mean that it's easy. And that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be times where he and I disagree in terms of how things should proceed and how rapidly things should proceed," Obama said.

In the last two weeks, the differences between the Obama Administration and Karzai Government has come out in the open with the latter publicly accusing Washington and the western countries of meddling in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and being responsible for the fraud in the presidential elections last year.

Such a anti-US rhetoric has surprised White House and the State Department as it started coming soon after Obama had a long meeting with Karzai during an unannounced trip to Kabul by Obama last month.

The White House Press secretary, Robert Gibbs, termed those remarks as "troubling" and sought an explanation from him.

At one his daily news conference, Gibbs refused to call him an ally.

Last Friday Karzai had called the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to clarify his remarks.