Obama extends new offer for Afghanistan's new leaders to visit White House early next year


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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has extended new invitations to Afghanistan's new leaders to visit the White House early next year.

The White House says Obama spoke by videoconference Wednesday with President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF' gah-NEE' ah-mahd-ZEYE') and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. They discussed strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces, U.S. and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, budgetary reforms and the country's long-term fiscal outlook.

Obama also reiterated his offer for both men to visit the White House.

The initial invitation was extended in congratulatory letters Obama sent both men after they took office last month.

On Wednesday, Obama commended the leaders on the first month of their U.S.-supported unity government. The power-sharing arrangement settled months of tension between Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah. Both had sought the presidency.

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