US Vice President-elect Joe Biden has arrived in Afghanistan for talks with the country’s leaders, as surging Taliban violence claimed the lives of more American troops.
Biden and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham will meet President Hamid Karzai and US General David McKiernan, head of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
Colonel Greg Julian, a US military spokesman, described the visit Saturday as an “initial introduction”.
Biden’s visit follows a trip to neighbouring Pakistan, where aides said he met with President Asif Ali Zadari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Biden’s tour comes after five US soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, and as US officials warned the violence will likely intensify this year.