Obama, Karzai talk; security pact getting closer

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The White House says President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai discussed a long-stalled security pact during a video conference Thursday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says the two leaders noted progress toward completing an agreement “that reinforces Afghan sovereignty while addressing the practical requirements of transition.”

That’s a reference to disagreements over U.S. military procedures that have angered Afghans and held up the pact, which would give a framework for U.S. rights and obligations in Afghanistan after most foreign forces leave.

Diplomats have said the two nations are keen to reach even a basic outline agreement before a NATO summit on Afghanistan in May.

Carney says the two leaders also discussed political outreach to the Taliban. He gave no details.