Making an unannounced-but-nonetheless noisy visit to Southern Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai promised to rebuild the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah after a huge operation by NATO troops.
Karzai told 300 local elders he was ready to listen to their problems.
During two hours of talks, they complained – shouting at times – of looted shops, house searches and civilian casualties.
Karzai was joined by US General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and NATO forces, who have largely taken control of Marjah thanks to Operation Mushtarak.
It has been described as the biggest offensive of the war so far.