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Thursday, September 28, 2006
Quarreling Afghan, Pakistani leaders join Bush for dinner, diplomacy
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and the leaders of Pakistan and
Afghanistan talked strategy over plates of spicy sea bass Wednesday night at a
White House dinner designed to soothe simmering tensions between two key U.S.
allies.

Before sitting down to eat, Bush made a brief appearance in the Rose
Garden flanked by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez
Musharraf, who have been at odds over whether each country is doing enough to
fight terrorists along its side of their long, remote border.

"We've got a lot of challenges facing us. All of us want to protect our
countries, but, at the same time, we all must work to make the world a more
hopeful place," Bush said. "Today's dinner is a chance for us to strategize
together, to talk about the need to cooperate, to make sure that people have
got a hopeful future."

Bush then shook hands with both men. But Karzai and Musharraf didn't
speak, and they didn't shake hands with each other.

The three-way meeting comes after some high-profile finger pointing
between the Afghan and Pakistani leaders over a recent upsurge in violence by
the Taliban in Afghanistan.
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