First draft: Talking to Afghans, Pakistanis

May 6, 2009

AFGHAN/KARZAIPresident Barack Obama will jump into the thorny issue of Afghan-Pakistani relations today as he meets with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

The visiting leaders will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before heading over to the White House where they will have separate meetings with Obama and Vice President Biden before a trialateral gathering.PAKISTAN-AID/ZARDARI

Though the administration has doubts about the capability of both men, Obama is expected to urge Karzai and Zardari to put aside a history of mistrust and join Washington in an alliance against Islamic extremists.

On the economic front, regulators have told Bank of America it needs $34 billion of capital to withstand a deep economic downturn while Citigroup may need as much as $10 billion.  The Obama administration is due to release results of the bank stress tests late onThursday but sources say about 10 of the 19 big U.S. banks being tested are likely to need more capital.

The morning television shows were very interested in former presidential candidate John Edwards — or more specifically, his wife Elizabeth. She has just written a new book and was on Oprah talking about her husband’s infidelity. She is due to give more TV interviews next week.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credits: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (Karzai speaks in Washington); REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (Zardari speaks in Tokyo last month)

One comment

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I realize the importance of foreign diplomacy but not to the extent that billions of tax dollars are spent overseas to support foreigners. If that is necessary, that the United Nations should shoulder the cost, not the US taxpayer. We have given and helped all over the world yet we still get 9/11 and our own citizens still go to bed hungry and our disabled are routinely denied Social Security and live below the poverty level. I have e-mailed our elected for years about this, and Senator Cornyn did respond, stating that foreign aid is only 1% of the budget. I consider that a sarcastic reply and say that if people in America are in need, than even 1% is far too much.

Posted by MaryAnne B. Phillips | Report as abusive