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Lawmakers from LI approve of Obama's trip

Long Island's congressional delegation Sunday came out in strong, bipartisan support of President Barack Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the visit "reaffirms America's commitment. This must be an American issue, not a partisan one.

"I have strongly supported President Obama's policy in Afghanistan and continue to do so," King said.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) said she supported Obama's call to reduce corruption in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"Progress has been made but more needs to be done to reduce corruption, which will allow the Afghan people to take over the security of their country," McCarthy said. "I look forward to the day when our brave men and women can return home, but we first must ensure Afghanistan is not a home for the Taliban and Al-Qaida."

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights) said Obama's anti-corruption message "is the same message I gave to Karzai on my last three visits there."

Karzai "has to keep hearing that message," said Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. "The president giving that message, that's hard to ignore."

To date, Ackerman said, Karzai's response to the corruption warnings "has been more reassuring, but his actions have yet to clamp down."

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