KABUL – Eager to overcome a bout of bickering, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a show of unusual unity between their two nations on Monday. The friendly display came as the U.S. military ceded control of its last detention facility in Afghanistan, ending a longstanding irritant in relations.

Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul on an unannounced visit amid concerns that Karzai’s anti-American rhetoric may jeopardize progress in the war against extremism.

After a private meeting, Kerry said he and Karzai were “on the same page” on security and reconciliation issues and brushed aside suggestions that relations were in peril.

Karzai infuriated U.S. officials earlier this month by accusing Washington of colluding with Taliban insurgents to keep Afghanistan weak even as the Obama administration pressed ahead with plans to hand off security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of next year.

At a joint news conference, Karzai told reporters that his comments in a nationally televised speech had been misinterpreted by the media. Standing beside Kerry on Monday, Karzai said “today was a very good day,” citing the turnover of the detention facility at the U.S.-run Bagram military base north of Kabul.




He also expressed gratitude for the sacrifices made for his country by Americans.