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New US commander in Afghanistan meets Karzai

The incoming commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has met with President Hamid Karzai for the first time.

world Updated: Jun 14, 2009 19:39 IST

The incoming commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has met with President Hamid Karzai for the first time.

Karzai's office said the Afghan president told US Gen Stanley McChrystal on Sunday that the most important element of his mission is to protect civilians during military operations.

Civilian casualties during US and NATO operations has long been a sore point with Karzai, amid concerns it sours public opinion against his government as it struggles with the Taliban insurgency. McChrystal takes command of all US and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Monday.

A former special forces commander, McChrystal is expected to bring a fresh approach to an increasingly violent eight-year war.