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Karzai visits Washington as relations remain strained

Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reviews an honor guard at the Pentagon before his meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington, D.C., Jan.10, 2013.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

President of Pentagon Memorial Fund, James Laychak, touches the bench of his brother David Laychak as he and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. left, accompany Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a visit to the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on Jan. 10, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on right side of table, dines with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, left, in a small room at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is seated next to Secretary Clinton.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul, left, meet Senate Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 2013.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

President Barack Obama hosts Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the Oval Office for a bilateral meeting at the White House Jan. 11, 2013. The two are expected to discuss the speed at which U.S. troops will withdraw from Afghanistan.

As the relationship between the two countries becomes increasingly strained, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai travelled to Washington D.C, to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders were expected to discuss the transition in Afghanistan as the U.S. military withdraws and the continuing partnership between the two nations.  Some 66,000 U.S. troops are currently in Afghanistan. Karzai also visited the Pentagon, where he met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and toured the Sept. 11 memorial site. Later that evening, he dined with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Senators Mitch McConnell, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine and Deb Fischer also hosted the Afghan leader during his visit to Capitol Hill where they discussed the upcoming 2014 elections and women’s rights in Afghanistan. 

Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.

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