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Obama, Karzai Renew Goal Of Defeating Al-Qaeda

President Barack Obama has praised the "broad and deepening" U.S. partnership with Afghanistan, saying he and visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai have renewed their goal to defeat Al-Qaeda.

In a joint news conference with Karzai after talks at the White House today, Obama said U.S.-led forces have begun to reverse the momentum of the insurgency in Afghanistan, and would do everything they could to avoid civilian casualties in the war.

Obama noted Karzai's progress on fighting corruption but said "much more" was needed. Karzai promised to spend U.S. financial resources with "extreme care."

Obama said the United States backed Afghan efforts to open the door to Taliban members who renounced violence and links to Al-Qaeda.

He also said that earlier tensions between him and Karzai were "simply overstated."

This week's U.S.-Afghan talks -- which are focusing on military, development, and Afghan reconciliation issues -- come after recent tension between the two sides after Karzai accused the West of responsibility for corruption in Afghanistan.

compiled from agency reports