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Obama says Karzai must remain 'critical partner'

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - President Barack Obama says Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai remains "a critical partner" with the United States in the global war against terrorism despite Karzai's harsh recent criticism of the West.

Obama tells ABC News in an interview that U.S. troops must be in Afghanistan because "3,000 Americans were killed" by an attack that was launched from there. The president says "those people are still out there, plotting to kill Americans."

Obama said Karazi has to remain a key player in this counterterrorism strategy. He said if the United States succeeds only on the military side, but not on the civilian side, "then you're going to continue to have instability in the region." He said Karzai "has his own domestic politics tht he has to deal with."

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