US President Barack Obama will host Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House on Friday for talks centered on the long-term security compact between the two countries.
Obama looks forward to “discussing our continued transition in Afghanistan, and our shared vision of an enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan,” a White House statement said.
The Afghan leader has expressed support for keeping US troops in Afghanistan, but sensitive details — including immunity for American soldiers and the transfer of detainees into Afghan custody — are still under negotiation.
Karzai’s relationship with Washington has been troubled in recent years and fears remain that attention for Afghanistan, heavily dependent on international aid, could plummet after 2014, plunging it back into political turmoil.
The Afghan president’s scheduled trip to the United States was formally confirmed on the same day as Obama revealed his nominations to head up the CIA and the Pentagon during his second White House term.
The US president last year signed a pact on future relations and declared that the “time of war” was ending in Afghanistan.
But the Defense Department reportedly has prepared plans to leave roughly 3,000, 6,000 or 9,000 America troops in the war-wracked state.