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Karzai Says Will Step Down In 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks in Washington January 11 with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has vowed to leave the presidential office at the end of his second term in 2014, and allow a successor to be elected.

Karzai, who has led the U.S.-backed Afghan government for more than a decade, made the pledge January 11 in Washington at a joint news conference with President Barack Obama.

Karzai said one of his “greatest” achievements would be a “proper, well-organized, interference-free election in which the Afghan people can elect their next president.”

Karzai said he envisioned himself being “very happily, a retired president.”

Karzai was selected to be interim president in 2002, after the fall of the Taliban regime.

He was elected president in 2004 and reelected in 2009, in votes marred by allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
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