Clinton in Kabul to push Afghan reconciliation



KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit aimed at encouraging the country’s wary leadership to keep up Taliban reconciliation efforts as the Obama administration presses ahead with troop withdrawal plans.

Clinton arrived in Kabul late Wednesday and will see President Hamid Karzai and other top Afghan officials on Thursday. Her trip comes as Karzai has expressed frustration with attempts to woo Taliban fighters away from the insurgency amid increasing attacks by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. The U.S. sees a political settlement with the Taliban as key to ending the war.

Clinton will also be pressing the Afghans on reaching a security agreement that will govern U.S.-Afghanistan relations after American troops withdraw. The U.S. plans to bring most forces home by 2015.