Afghan President Hamid Karzai waves as he waits to meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Kabul November 2, 2009. Ban made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday as pressure grew to abandon plans for a risky run-off vote after the withdrawal of Karzai's only rival.
President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States is looking forward to a closer cooperation with Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, but urging Kabul to improve governance and fight against corruption.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul November 2, 2009. Ban made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday as pressure grew to abandon plans for a risky run-off vote after the withdrawal of Karzai's only rival.
Obama, after meeting with Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in the White House, told reporters that he has phone called Karzai for congratulating the Afghan leader for winning the presidential election.
According to Obama, he also asked Karzai to make "a much more serious effort to eradicate corruption," and to realize that it is the time for the United States and Afghanistan to "write a new chapter based on improved governance."
Reports here said the United States has been dissatisfied with Karzai, who ruled Afghanistan since the Taliban was overturned in 2001, for his failure to secure the country from Taliban attacks, governmental corruption, drug-trafficking and his close ties with warlords.