Musharraf-Karzai meeting amicable

Sept. 28, 2006 at 5:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan had "a very candid exchange" during their White House dinner, presidential spokesman Tony Snow said Thursday.

During a media briefing aboard Air Force One en route to Alabama, Snow discounted reports saying Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf and Afghanistan's Harmid Karzai declined to shake hands.

"There were handshakes in advance. You had the two presidents in the Roosevelt Room together before going into the Oval (Office), warm handshakes extended all around, some preliminary chatting and joking before they went out to the Rose Garden, and then off they went to dinner," Snow said.

Snow said Musharraf and Karzai talked about mutual concerns and agreed to work together on terror issues as well as address such issues as economic development and infrastructure.

"The two have agreed to be in regular contact," Snow said, adding the two had "a very candid exchange."

Musharraf and Karzai have been at odds over the struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaida, with each accusing the other of not doing enough.

While Karzai claims Pakistan is offering safe havens to militants along the mountainous, porous border, Musharraf has accused Karzai of not controlling his own country's security.

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