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VP-Elect Biden in Afghanistan

  • VOA News

US Vice President-elect Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday for talks with political and military leaders in the war-ravaged country.

Biden is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. General David McKiernan, head of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.

The Democrat's visit follows a trip to Pakistan, where he held separate talks Friday with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Media reports from Islamabad say the discussions focused on Pakistan's commitment to the war on terrorism, as well as heightened tensions between Pakistan and India since the November terror attacks in Mumbai.

Biden is leading a congressional delegation to South Asia. He is making the trip as the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In Pakistan, Biden also met with the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (of the southern U.S. state of South Carolina) also took part in the talks.

Biden met with Kuwait's prime minister, Sheikh Nasser Mohammad on Thursday during a stop in the emirate on the way to South Asia.

Earlier this week, Biden's office released a statement saying the delegation would be on a fact-finding mission, but did not disclose the itinerary or other details for security reasons.

In Washington, Biden's letter of resignation from the Senate was read by the clerk at the end of Friday's Senate session.

The vice president-elect and President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn into office on January 20th.

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