U.S. President Barack Obama says his meetings with the presidents of
Afghanistan and Pakistan were "extraordinarily productive," and that
the United States has made a lasting commitment to support their
democratically elected governments.
Mr. Obama spoke at the White House Wednesday after talks with Afghan
President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. He
said he is pleased at what he called the "unprecedented cooperation"
between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The U.S. president said his administration will make every effort to
avoid civilian casualties in the war against terror in Afghanistan. He
also said both Mr. Karzai and Mr. Zardari fully appreciate the
seriousness of the threats that all three countries face from
extremists, and are committed to confronting it.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed
regret at the loss of civilian life in Afghanistan. Clinton said the
U.S. and Afghan governments will investigate the incidents earlier this
week in Farah Province, where some local officials are claiming that
more than 100 civilians were killed in U.S. air strikes.
She met earlier Wednesday with Mr. Zardari and Mr. Karzai and said the
U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan face a common enemy in extremists.
Mr. Karzai said he hopes the U.S. and Afghanistan can work together to
eventually eliminate the chance of civilian casualties. He said his
young democracy needs attention and nurturing, and that Pakistan,
Afghanistan, the U.S. and all countries of the world are victims of
At the State Department, at the opening of the two days of high-level
talks, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding
for the conclusion of a border trade and transit agreement by the end
of this year. That accord has been under discussion for more than 40