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Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

President in country to sign security pact

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, on the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, according to ABC News.

The trip saw the president land at Bagram Air Field on Tuesday afternoon, after a flight that was kept secret to protect his safety.

Obama is scheduled to address the nation at 4:30 p.m., Tucson time, after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. troops in Kabul, according to CBS News.

The New York Times reported that Obama is set to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan, which will mark the beginning of the end of the more than decade-long war.

The agreement is meant to be a road map for a relationship between the United States and Afghanistan after U.S. troops depart near the end of 2014, according to the current schedule. According to The Times, the agreement pledges U.S. aid to Afghanistan for 10 years after withdrawal, marking a transition from the United States being a military presence to a complicated ally.

The trip comes on the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan.

The Obama re-election campaign has been reminding the public of Obama's decision to go ahead with the raid, amid accusations from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign that the president has been politicizing the issue, according to CBS News.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, Romney said, "I think them taking credit for the right decision is entirely appropriate. I think trying to attack me on that basis is disappointing and the wrong course."

The Wall Street Journal noted that the trip comes at a time of tense relations between the US and Pakistan, after violent protests over the accidental burning of Qurans and an Army staff sergeant allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree. The latest in a string of scandals was the release of photographs in April, showing U.S. troops posing with the dead bodies of Afghan militants.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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Sgt. Uriah Walker/U.S. Army

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit troops at Fort Stewart, Ga., on Friday. The president made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, the first anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.

McCain on Obama's Afghanistan visit

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday released the following statement regarding President Obama’s visit to Afghanistan:

“I am pleased that the President has traveled to Afghanistan. This is a significant opportunity for him to hear directly from our military commanders and troops on the ground about the significant progress we are making in this fight.

“It is also important because President Obama and President Karzai will announce the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will define the long-term political, economic, and military commitment between our countries. While I will carefully examine the details of this agreement, I am hopeful that it will send a signal to friends and enemies in the region that the United States is committed to a secure and free Afghanistan.

“I hope the President's speech tonight will emphasize the degree of our commitment in Afghanistan, rather than the plans for withdrawal. I would urge the President to return from this visit and spend more time speaking directly with the American people about the vital national security interests at stake in Afghanistan and the need for the United States to remain strongly engaged there in the years ahead.”