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Obama To Meet With Defense Officials Over Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama was expected to meet with senior defense officials on February 4 to discuss Afghanistan.

A White House official said General Joseph Dunford -- who commands international forces in Afghanistan and is visiting Washington this week -- was expected to attend.

The meeting comes as U.S. officials urge Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a security pact that will allow some U.S. troops to remain beyond 2014, when international troops are scheduled to leave.

On February 3, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the pact needs to be signed within "weeks, not months."

Both the United States and NATO have said they may be forced to pull their forces out of Afghanistan entirely at the end of this year unless the agreement is signed soon.

Karzai has said he will not sign the agreement unless certain conditions are met.

Based on reporting by Reuters