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Published on Jul 19, 2008
SelectPlusObama Meets Afghan Leaders, Makes Stop in KuwaitObama Meets Afghan Leaders, Makes Stop in KuwaitThe Associated PressSenator Barack Obama, undertaking a campaign-season tour of combat zones and foreign capitals, began his first-ever visit to Afghanistan as part of an official congressional delegation that landed in Kabul. (July 19)[Notes:ANCHOR VOICE] [Notes:Vid Blackhawk helicopter arriving in Afghanistan]Arriving by Blackhawk ... Senator Barack Obama for his first-ever trip to Afghanistan. [Notes:Vid Obama meeting] The Democratic presidential candidate met local officials in Jalalabad (juh-LAH'-lah-bahd).. [Notes:Graphic map]The surrounding region has been a hotbed of Taliban and al-Qaida activity. [Notes:Obama meeting] While there ... Obama offered up his support for reconstruction and security throughout the country. [Notes:Vid helicopters, Obama arriving to speak with soldiers]En route to Afghanistan ... The White House hopeful also made a stop at the main U-S military base in Kuwait... [Notes:NATS UP applause] and was met by a standing ovation from troops stationed there. [Notes:SOT Barack Obama: "America is unified in being so proud of the extraordinary, dedicated, professional service that is provided by all the members of the armed forces. And so we salute you! And we honor you!"][Notes:Obama meet and greet] Obama also met with soldiers and senior military leaders. [Notes:January Obama playing basketball dissolve to today basketball game]And living up to his last visit to Kuwait .... Obama took a break to play some hoops.But unlike last time ... **This time** was nothing but net. [Notes:Nats up Obama shoots, crowd cheers] [Notes:Vid Hagel]Traveling with Obama was Republican Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska ... [Notes:Vid Reed] and Democratic Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island. Both are military veterans. [Notes:SOT Chuck Hagel "When we debate war, we debate it too often in abstractions. We don't focus enough on the reality of who has to fight the war , who has to die in the war ... we need to factor that in more to our policy making and so my experience in Vietnam and the United States Army which I'm very proud of certainly has affected my view of all this."][Notes:Various Obama meet and greet] Obama is also expected to stop in Iraq at some point during his tour...and has arranged to visit Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England.The weeklong trip marks his only foreign excursion as a presidential candidate. ___ ___, The Associated Press.(****END****)