12 Apr 2010

US attempts to mend fences with Afghan leader

11:58 am on 12 April 2010

Senior members of the United States administration have been trying to mend the troubled relationship between the US and Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Mr Karzai has accused Washington of trying to dominate Afghanistan and weaken his government.

Speaking on American television, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Mr Karzai as a reliable partner, who is under enormous political pressure.

US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said the Afghan leader has a good working relationship with the head of NATO and US troops there, General Stanley McChrystal.

Mr Karzai and General McChrystal met hundreds of elders in Afghanistan's Kunduz on Sunday, the third such trip in recent days, in what NATO says is part of its strategy of emphasising the Afghan government's role in military efforts.