U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul ahead of an international conference
on the future of the war-torn country.
The politicians dined together after Clinton had flown into Kabul from Pakistan in the evening of July 19 and met with the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus.
The conference, starting on July 20, aims to chart a future of peace and development for Afghanistan.
Karzai and UN chief Ban Ki-moon are to co-chair the conference, and Ban urged the Afghan leader to unveil "concrete" steps to improve governance and promote national reconciliation.
Karzai is expected to ask the delegates for half of the nearly $13 billion already pledged for reconstruction over the next two years to be distributed through the Afghan government.
Up to 70 international representatives and 40 foreign ministers are expected to attend the gathering, a follow-up to a donors' meeting held in London in January.compiled from agency reports