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Karzai meets with senators before State Dept., White House visits

- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met with senators on Capitol Hill ahead of his meetings at the White House and State Department this week.

Mr. Karzai met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees late Wednesday.

In his meetings, the Afghan leader discussed the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014, when all international combat forces are scheduled to leave the country.Obama administration officials this week said they are considering the option of leaving no U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Mr. Karzai has declined to comment on how many U.S. troops he would like to see in his country.

Earlier, he met his wounded intelligence chief at a Washington area hospital where he is undergoing treatment after a failed assassination attempt by the Taliban.

Asadullah Khalid, director of the National Directorate of Security, was wounded Dec. 6, when a man posing as a Taliban peace envoy detonated explosives concealed in his underwear.

"Khalid's doctors briefed the president on the treatment and described his health condition as stable," Mr. Karzai's office said in a statement.

Mr. Karzai will meet Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department on Thursday afternoon, and President Obama will host him at the White House on Friday.

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