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Obama meets Karzai in Kabul
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But Obama, asked before the trip if he had tough words for Karzai and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, replied "I'm more interested in listening than doing a lot of talking."

"I think it is very important to recognize that I'm going over there as a US senator. We have one president at a time, so it's the president's job to deliver those messages," he said.

Karzai's spokesman brushed off Obama's criticism and said that no matter who won the Nov 4 U.S. election, Afghanistan and the United States would remain strong allies.

Obama, Hagel and Reed earlier had breakfast with US troops in Kabul and discussed their experiences in the country, where violence has risen sharply this year. Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday and was briefed by the US commander of NATO-led forces in eastern Afghanistan.

(China Daily via agencies July 21, 2008)

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