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"I cannot and will not comment on specifics around our programs related to the Syrian opposition," Obama said
The president also tried to explain away a surprise announcement that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was suspending talks with the U.S. on a new security deal in protest over the handling of initial peace negotiations with the Taliban. Obama announced the Taliban talks only one day prior, praising Karzai as he did as "courageous."
Obama said the U.S. had anticipated "there were going to be some areas of friction, to put it mildly, in getting this thing off the ground. That’s not surprising. They’ve been fighting there for a long time" and mistrust is rampant. But he said it was important to pursue a parallel track toward reconciliation even as the fighting continued, and it would be up to the Afghan people as to whether that effort ultimately bore fruit.
First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha traveled with Obama throughout his trip. The president and first lady were feted by the German government at a dinner Wednesday night before the family returned to Washington.
Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn and Frank Jordans in Berlin and James Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.
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