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Karzai to visit US in May

world Updated: Apr 20, 2010 08:34 IST
Karzai to visit US in May

In an "extremely important trip" to US next month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai will meet his American counterpart Barack Obama, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will fly to Kabul in July to attend an international conference, a top US official has said.

Karzai accepted Obama's invitation to Washington, which was extended to him during the US President's last month visit to the Afghan capital, Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said.

This would be Karzai's first trip, which is scheduled from May 10 to 14, to the United States in his second term and also under the Obama Administration.

Observing that the visit is going to be very intense, whole-of-government effort, Holbrooke yesterday said the Obama Administration is taking this trip very seriously. "Our number-one project right now is planning for that (Karzai's) trip."

Kabul Conference, as a follow up to the London conference held early this year, will be held on July 20, he said.

"That will be a conference hosted by the government of Afghanistan. It will involve a domestic portion and an international portion, and the international portion Secretary Clinton plans to attend, and other internationals will be coming as well," he said.

"That is an important conference, obviously.

"Details will be extrapolated from the previous two. But it will be an affirmation of international support for the government, and it is the follow-on to the London conference," Holbrooke said.

The Special Representative noted that the next round of trilateral talks between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan would be held between July and September.

The last of two trilaterals, held at the Presidential level, was organised in 2009 before the Afghan presidential elections in August.