The FINANCIAL — WASHINGTON. U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan for a surprise visit on March 28, according to a pool report by Wall Street Journal correspondent Peter Spiegel.
"The U.S. president arrived aboard an AF1 [helicopter] at 7:25pm local time (10:55 a.m DC time) at Bagram Air Base after a 12-hour and 46-minute nonstop overnight flight," the report said.
The International Security Assistance Force commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, reportedly met the president.
"U.S. president's helicopter touched down shortly after 8 p.m. local time at presidential palace in Kabul," the report said.
Obama is reportedly expected to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai "to make him understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have been not paid attention to", namely, a "merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers, which fuels, provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents."
This is Obama's first trip to Afghanistan as commander-in-chief, though he visited the country as a senator on July 19, 2008, during the presidential general election.