romney karzai 05Hamid Karzai is a busy man.
The embattled Afghan president is on the receiving end of not one but two visits from American officials Monday. In the morning, Karzai sat down with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is visiting the capital, Kabul, as part of a larger Middle East trip aimed at burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of his expected 2012 GOP presidential campaign.
Later Monday, Karzai will meet with Joe Biden, who is making his first official visit to the country as vice president. Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is not a big fan of Karzai, with whom he's repeatedly clashed over the years.
According to AFP, Karzai's office said in a statement that the president and Romney discussed terrorist activities along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. "The situation in Pakistan is an indicator that terrorists are not only attacking Afghanistan but are causing lots of troubles for Pakistan too," the statement quoted Romney as saying.
Kabul is the first stop in Romney's week-long Middle East tour, which will also take him to Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. He's scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The trip, organized by the International Republican Institute, is being paid for by "a combination of private sources," according to Romney's office.
(2005 pool photo of Karzai and Romney: Dina Rudnick/AP)