Petraeus and Karzai 'agree on special forces'

General David Petraeus Gen Petraeus said that civilian casualties as a result of special forces operations have been falling

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US General David Petraeus have met to discuss the president's call for US forces to leave the country by 2011.

The two reached agreement that special forces raids - which the president earlier said should end - can continue.

Throughout their one-hour meeting, the president expressed broad support for the Nato-led military strategy.

His earlier criticism was a reflection of a "mature partnership," his spokesman said.

The president and Gen Petraeus are still on "good terms", he added.

But a particular sore point between the two has been the night raids carried out by special forces as they hunt for Taliban commanders.

Mr Karzai previously said the raids should end because they were unpopular with Afghans generally.

But the US views them as a vital component in efforts to combat the insurgency, which is why they have tripled in number over the past year.

Gen Petraeus sought to reassure the president by explaining that Afghan forces take the lead in such raids and that senior officials in the ministries of interior and defence take part in the planning stages.

He said that civilian casualties as a result of the operations are small in number and have been falling.

Mr Karzai agreed - reluctantly - that the raids should continue, according to one observer.

Both Gen Petraeus and President Karzai have left Kabul to attend the Nato summit in Lisbon.

The two-day meeting will discuss plans for the handover of security in Afghanistan from international to Afghan forces.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More South Asia stories



  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?

  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament

  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest

  • ShakespeareBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?

  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.