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Obama holds meeting on Af-Pak situation

world Updated: Mar 04, 2011 07:33 IST

US President Barack Obama met his national security team for the monthly situation room meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan, a day after he had an hour-long video conference with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

During the situation room meeting, Obama underscored the importance of continued international support for peace and stability in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, specifically support for Afghan-led reconciliation, the White House said.

The President also received an update on the security situation on the ground, including US efforts to prevent civilian casualties and sustain the gains that have been made over the last several months.

Obama and his team reviewed efforts to advance the transition process that was embraced in Lisbon -- the planned transitioning of security to Afghan forces with the start of US troop reductions in July. Transfer of security to Afghan forces will complete by the end of 2014.

The White House said Obama received an update on their regional diplomatic efforts, including the successful meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

During the hour-long conversation, Obama and Karzai discussed a number of topics, including the beginning of transition to Afghan security lead, the renewal of the US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Declaration, and the beginning of US troop reductions in July.

"Both leaders agreed that the United States and Afghanistan should continue to work together to advance a political outcome to the war in Afghanistan and President Obama reaffirmed his support for an Afghan-led political process," the White House said.

Obama and Karzai agreed on the importance of resolving the issues facing Kabul Bank, the White House said adding that the US President expressed his deep regret for the tragic accident in Kunar Province in which nine Afghans were killed.

"The President conveyed his condolences to the Afghan people and stressed that he and General Petraeus take such incidents very seriously. President Obama and President Karzai agreed that such incidents undermine our shared efforts in fighting terrorism," White House added.