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Dunford meets Karzai

14 February, 2013

KABUL: Gen. Joseph Dunford met with President Hamid Karzai for the first time since taking over command of US and Nato troops in Afghanistan from Gen. John Allen.

"The intent of today's meeting was to pay respects to the President, reaffirm Isaf's support to the campaign, and continue the productive relationship between Isaf and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan," Isaf said in a statement.

Isaf did not elaborate on what was discussed in the meeting.

Dunford took control of the Nato-led combat mission in Afghanistan on Sunday in an elaborate ceremony as outgoing Gen. John Allen departed after 19 months at the helm.

Karzai did not attend the handover, although other high-ranking Afghan government officials were present, including the Minister of Defence.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dunford praised the Afghan and international troops in Afghanistan saying they are "winning" the fight against the insurgency and stressed that this will not change with the leadership transfer.

"Today is not about change; it's about continuity. What has not changed is the will of this coalition," Dunford told a crowd of foreign and Afghan officials in Nato's Isaf headquarters in Kabul.

End.

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