US President Barack Obama answers a question during the joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Obama will renew his call to reduce the world's nuclear stockpiles, including a proposed one-third reduction in U.S. and Russian arsenals, a senior administration official said. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON The White House says President Barack Obama spoke to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday after the Taliban launched an attack outside Karzai's presidential palace.
The two leaders spoke by video conference after the early morning gun battle. The attack could complicate American efforts to try to get Karzai's government to sit down with the Taliban to talk peace.
The White House says Obama and Karzai discussed the reconciliation process and affirmed that Afghanistan, not the U.S., must lead that process. The leaders also said they still support meetings between Afghanistan's High Peace Council and Taliban representatives at a political office the Taliban recently opened in Qatar.
They also discussed NATO's handover of security operations last week to Afghan forces and the need for fair elections in Afghanistan in 2014.