Obama, Karzai reaffirm plans on security transition: White House

WASHINGTON Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:13pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday reaffirmed plans for Afghan security forces to take the lead in combat operations next year and assume full responsibility for security across Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the White House said.

"The two leaders also discussed President Karzai's recent reiteration of his longstanding concerns regarding night raids and house searches and recommitted to conclude ongoing negotiations on a memorandum of understanding to resolve those concerns," the White House said in a summary of phone call between the two leaders.

It said they also agreed to hold further discussion about Karzai's concerns about the presence of NATO troops in Afghan villages. Tensions have ratcheted up since the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)

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