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Hamid Karzai (file photo) 13 April 2005 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai today said that he wants his country to have a long-term security relationship with the United States.

"The Afghan people want a long-term relationship with the United States," Karzai said. "They want this relationship to be a wholesome one, including a sustained economic relationship, a political relationship, and most important of all, a strategic security relationship that would enable Afghanistan to defend itself."

Karzai made his remarks during a joint press conference with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who described the military relationship between the United States and Afghanistan as good, and that it is getting stronger.

Rumsfeld was on a brief unannounced visit to Afghanistan before traveling to Pakistan.

(Reuters/AP)
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