Obama phones Karzai, discusses troop pullback call
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE - President Obama has telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss Karzai's call for NATO troops to withdraw from rural villages.
Spokesman Jay Carney says that during the early-morning call, the leaders agreed to talk further about the demand. Karzai has told reporters in Afghanistan he's standing firm. If so, that throws a wrench in the current U.S. strategy.
Carney says the leaders reaffirmed their "shared commitment" to a gradual transition to an Afghan combat lead next year. He was briefing reporters as Obama flew to a fundraising appearance.
Karzai's demand followed the weekend massacre of 16 Afghans. The suspect is a U.S. soldier who was stationed at a rural outpost.
Karzai's demand sowed confusion among U.S. officials, but Carney says the two leaders are "very much on the same page."