Karzai Lands in Washington

The U.S. and Afghanistan are looking to iron out some kinks this week, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai embarks on a weeklong trip to Washington. Karzai’s visit formally begins Tuesday, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host an opening ceremony for the leader. Two topics expected to be on the table are Taliban reconciliation and a peace jirga in Kabul later this month. Tensions have run particularly high between the two countries since April, when Karzai allegedly told Afghan lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that he’d consider joining the Taliban if the U.S. didn’t ease up in pressuring him for government reform. Last week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called Karzai’s remarks “troubling and untruthful,” and multiple phone calls with Clinton to “clarify” his statements followed.