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Obama, Karzai sign U.S.-Afghan strategic pact

Reuters

May 1, 2012 | 2:04 pm

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on May 2. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on May 2. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday signed a strategic partnership accord that charts the future of U.S.-Afghan relations beyond the end of the NATO combat mission in the country.

Obama, on an unannounced visit to Kabul, acknowledged that there will be difficult days ahead for Afghanistan, but said the Afghan people were taking control of their own future.

“The wages of war have been great for both our nations,” Obama said, adding that he looked forward to a future of peace.

The two leaders shook hands after the signing, which took place in Karzai’s palace in the Afghan capital.

Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing By Warren Strobel and Sandra Maler

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