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Hamid Karzai: A Presidency In Pictures

Hamid Karzai has been the leader of Afghanistan for almost 13 years, since shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of the country in late 2001. He was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. Some have expressed fears that Karzai might continue to wield influence over Afghan politics even after he leaves office. But Karzai has said he will retire, not to a mansion built on the grounds of the presidential palace but to a more modest home in Kabul.

A 28-year-old Hamid Karzai (top right) is pictured during a three-month journalism course he took in Lille, France, in 1985.
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A 28-year-old Hamid Karzai (top right) is pictured during a three-month journalism course he took in Lille, France, in 1985.

Karzai (top row, second from left) is photographed with other journalism classmates in Lille, France, in 1985. He returned to Pakistan to serve as director of information for the National Liberation Front.
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Karzai (top row, second from left) is photographed with other journalism classmates in Lille, France, in 1985. He returned to Pakistan to serve as director of information for the National Liberation Front.

A mustachioed Karzai in a 2001 file photo, shortly before he was named on December 5 of that year as chaiman of the Afghan interim administration during a UN-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany.
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A mustachioed Karzai in a 2001 file photo, shortly before he was named on December 5 of that year as chaiman of the Afghan interim administration during a UN-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (right) meets with Karzai at Bagram air base outside Kabul on December 16, 2001, six days before Karzai took the oath of office as chairman of the Afghan interim administration. Rumsfeld had arrived at Bagram for a surprise visit, the first by a senior U.S. official to Afghanistan since U.S.-led strikes began against the Taliban in October 2001.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (right) meets with Karzai at Bagram air base outside Kabul on December 16, 2001, six days before Karzai took the oath of office as chairman of the Afghan interim administration. Rumsfeld had arrived at Bagram for a surprise visit, the first by a senior U.S. official to Afghanistan since U.S.-led strikes began against the Taliban in October 2001.

British Major General John McColl (right), UN special representative Lakhdar Brahimi (center), and Karzai during the January 4, 2002, signing of an agreement on the deployment of foreign troops on Afghan soil.
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British Major General John McColl (right), UN special representative Lakhdar Brahimi (center), and Karzai during the January 4, 2002, signing of an agreement on the deployment of foreign troops on Afghan soil.

Karzai speaks during an emergency Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, in Kabul on June 19, 2002, during which he was chosen for a two-year term as interim president of the Afghan transitional government.
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Karzai speaks during an emergency Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, in Kabul on June 19, 2002, during which he was chosen for a two-year term as interim president of the Afghan transitional government.

An Afghan election worker counts a vote for Karzai during the country's first post-Taliban presidential election, held on October 9, 2004. Karzai took the oath of office on December 7, 2004, for a five-year term as president.
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An Afghan election worker counts a vote for Karzai during the country's first post-Taliban presidential election, held on October 9, 2004. Karzai took the oath of office on December 7, 2004, for a five-year term as president.

U.S. President George W. Bush holds a joint news conference with Karzai in the East Room of the White House on September 26, 2006.
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U.S. President George W. Bush holds a joint news conference with Karzai in the East Room of the White House on September 26, 2006.

(Seated from left) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2007. Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers of the security and economic bloc. 
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(Seated from left) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2007. Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers of the security and economic bloc. 

Karzai kisses a large copy of the Koran during his swearing-in as the country's president for another five years at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2009. A runoff vote with rival Abdullah Abdullah was canceled after Abdullah refused to participate, citing massive election fraud.
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Karzai kisses a large copy of the Koran during his swearing-in as the country's president for another five years at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2009. A runoff vote with rival Abdullah Abdullah was canceled after Abdullah refused to participate, citing massive election fraud.

Karzai accompanies U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as they arrive for a joint press conference in Kabul on October 20, 2011.
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Karzai accompanies U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as they arrive for a joint press conference in Kabul on October 20, 2011.

Angry supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah tear down a large portrait of Karzai before a rally in Kabul on July 8, 2014. Abdullah claimed vote fraud in the June runoff election against Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah's supporters accused Karzai of rigging the runoff in Ghani's favor.
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Angry supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah tear down a large portrait of Karzai before a rally in Kabul on July 8, 2014. Abdullah claimed vote fraud in the June runoff election against Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah's supporters accused Karzai of rigging the runoff in Ghani's favor.

Karzai gives a farewell speech during a gathering of government employees in Kabul on September 23, 2014. Karzai blamed the United States for his country's long war, a final swipe at the country that helped bring him to power 13 years ago but toward which he has become increasingly bitter.
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Karzai gives a farewell speech during a gathering of government employees in Kabul on September 23, 2014. Karzai blamed the United States for his country's long war, a final swipe at the country that helped bring him to power 13 years ago but toward which he has become increasingly bitter.

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