Obama visits Afghanistan

July 19, 2008 3:30:39 AM PDT
It is his first visit ever to the country.

Barack Obama is in Afghanistan today, the first stop on a campaign-season tour of war zones and Europe.

It's also his first visit to Afghanistan and he plans to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Later he'll be going to Iraq and a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The Democratic candidate for president insists he's visiting the region as part of a congressional delegation in his role as a U.S. senator. He says he's there simply to listen, because, as he puts it, the U.S. has "one president at a time."

Joining him on the trip are Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed. Both have been mentioned as potential running mates for Obama.

Obama gets a favorable nod from some of the few Afghan citizens who've been able to follow the U.S. presidential race. They say they'd welcome an Obama presidency if it would help end the fighting, corruption and poverty that have plagued their country for so long.