Karzai in Europe, Turkmenistan to bolster Afghan support - Emirates24|7

Karzai in Europe, Turkmenistan to bolster Afghan support

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Kabul on a five-day European trip to sign long-term strategic partnership agreements aimed at bolstering support for Afghanistan's reconstruction and development.

Karzai will first head to Turkmenistan for talks with his counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to discuss "mutual interests and greater bilateral cooperation", the Afghan presidency said in a statement.

Then, in Italy to meet Prime Minister Mario Monti, Karzai is due to sign a long-term partnership agreement aimed at enhancing the areas of Italian assistance and cooperation with Afghanistan.

On Friday in Paris and then London, Karzai will sign strategic partnership treaties with France and Britain, and meet President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The US led an invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, ousting the hardline Islamist Taliban government.

About 130,000 US-led troops are still in the country, now fighting a Taliban-led insurgency. The coalition combat troops are set to leave the country by the end of 2014, handing control for security to Afghan forces.

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