Administration officials are also seeking regional support for the new efforts. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, visiting Riyadh, the Saudi capital, appealed for Saudi Arabia's help in backing Pakistani efforts to repel the militants. Both Karzai and Zardari met with top lawmakers and policy analysts in Washington on Tuesday, telling them they were combating the insurgents and were capable of leading their countries. The talks involving Obama, Karzai and Zardari are complicated by Pakistan's growing opposition to U.S. airstrikes by unmanned aircraft there and by Afghanistan's rising frustration over its civilian casualties. In one acknowledgment of the anti-American sentiments, U.S. and Pakistani leaders will lay out their plans to train Pakistani troops elsewhere in the region, discreetly out of sight of the Pakistani public. The talks come at a time of unusual friction in U.S.-Pakistani relations. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last month that the Zardari government had "basically abdicated" to militants in the Swat Valley. She and other U.S. officials have also spoken openly about their concerns about the security of Pakistan's estimated 60 to 100 nuclear weapons, a subject previous U.S. administrations avoided in public.
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