Taliban tinggal pilih 2 ways.

1 terus berjuang membatu Al Qaida.
2 atau bergabung dgn pemerintah dan sejahterakan anak2 dan famili.

Barack Obama, the US president, has said ties with Afghanistan remain strong 
and backed the Afghan government's efforts to engage with Taliban fighters who 
give up violence.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, at 
the White House, Obama said he supported Kabul's efforts to "open the door to 
Taliban, who cut their ties with al-Qaeda and renounced violence".

Obama was referring to recent efforts by the Karzai government to introduce a 
scheme to attract Taliban fighters back to normal life by offering money and 

Karzai is in the US for four days of meetings aimed at repairing strained 
relations between Kabul and Washington, seen as crucial to shoring up the 
US-led war effort.

'Shared goal'

Obama noted the progress that has been made in Afghanistan in recent years but 
cautioned there are still difficult challenges that must be overcome.
In depth

        Inside Story: Is 'Afghanistan' possible?
        Operation Moshtarak at a glance
        Video: Interview with US commander in Helmand
        Video: Taliban payout could be unpopular
        Video: Taliban fighter says Nato losing Afghan support
        Focus: Making room for the Taliban
        Focus: To win over Afghans, US must listen
        Timeline: Afghanistan in crisis

"There are going to be ups and downs," Obama said. "There is going to be some 
hard fighting in the next several months."

The US president also said the two countries had a "shared goal to disrupt, 
dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda".

"We will sustain a robust commitment to Afghanistan going forward."

In turn, Karzai admitted that Afghanistan still had its "shortcomings", but he 
promised to work to build a better government with help from the US.

In the course of his visit, the Afghan leader is also expected to meet Senate 
and House leaders.

Talks with Obama, the centrepiece of his trip, followed meetings with other 
senior US officials to patch over differences at a pivotal time in the nearly 
nine-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Washington criticised Karzai openly in recent months for tolerating government 
corruption and the Afghan leader lashed back with a series of anti-Western 

Clinton's pledge

Karzai met Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, on Tuesday who conceded 
that US relations with Afghanistan had been strained but assured Karzai that 
the US would remain committed to Afghanistan long after troops left.
Clinton said the US would remain committed to Afghanistan long after troops 
left [AFP]

During an evening reception at the state department, with Karzai at her side, 
Clinton said that the enormous sums of military and humanitarian assistance 
offered to Afghanistan by a wide range of nations and international 
organisations are a "great vote of confidence in you" - and in his government.

"As we look toward a responsible, orderly transition in the international 
combat mission in Afghanistan, we will not abandon the Afghan people," Clinton 
told Karzai.

Her pledge of a long-term US commitment to Afghanistan addresses one of the 
Afghan government's major concerns.

Karzai's trip comes at a pivotal time in his country.

Nato is preparing for an assault against the Taliban in the southern province 
of Kandahar, and Afghan officials are preparing for a meeting of tribal leaders 
who will discuss how to promote peace.

Both countries regard the Taliban as a threat, but they have different views of 
how to deal with them. 

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, said the Taliban issue 
"was one of the main sticking points".

"For the last nine years, politicians have made very little distinction between 
al-Qaeda, which launched the September 11 attacks, and the Taliban. So, for 
President Obama to sit down and negotiate with the leadership of the Taliban 
could cause a huge outrage among the American public," Culhane said.

"It is important to point out, however, that the department of defence has been 
spending money to help with reintegration - but that's for lower level Taliban 
fighters - so it seems that is was a sticking point that they possibly worked 
through today."

Taliban conundrum

The Obama administration intends to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan 
in July 2011, but is wary of any peace deal that includes unrepentant Taliban 

Karzai, meanwhile, sees reconciliation with Taliban fighters as his country's 
best hope for a lasting peace and worries that the US and its Nato allies will 
leave Afghanistan to fend for itself once any deal is struck.

"The ability to disagree on issues of importance to our respective countries 
and peoples is not an obstacle to achieving our shared objectives"

Hillary Clinton,
US secretary of state

Clinton and Karzai on Tuesday both acknowledged that differences have 
complicated efforts to stabilise Afghanistan more than eight years after the 
Taliban was ousted from power by a US-led invasion.

"The ability to disagree on issues of importance to our respective countries 
and peoples is not an obstacle to achieving our shared objectives," Clinton 

"Rather, it reflects a level of trust that is essential to any meaningful 
dialogue and enduring strategic partnership."

Karzai agreed it was natural for Kabul and Washington to see the situation 
differently while working together toward the same goals.

"As two mature nations and two mature governments - by now the Afghan 
government is mature, too - we will be having disagreements from time to time," 
Karzai said.

Relations reached a low point last year after Karzai won an election widely 
condemned for fraud.

In March, the Obama administration publicly accused Karzai of tolerating 
corruption and drug trafficking.

The Afghan leader, in turn, accused the Westof undermining him.

Karzai's international reputation took a battering when a UN-backed fraud 
watchdog threw out one-third of the votes cast for him in the presidential 

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