Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - For the first time, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is committed to allowing two key government anti-corruption units to operate without political interference.
The announcement came after a series of meetings Thursday night and Friday in Kabul with U.S. Sen. John Kerry and other senior U.S. and Afghan officials - talks that both Kerry and Karzai described as a "candid and productive" conversation.
In separate statements after the meeting, both said that Kerry and Karzai agreed on the importance of strengthening the Major Crimes Task Force and the Sensitive Investigative Unit.
Both units have been criticized by the Afghan president for allegedly abusing the rights of a top government official arrested on corruption charges. In a visit to Kabul Wednesday, Kerry told Karzai that the issue of corruption is undermining U.S. support for the war.
"The president and I agree that the work of these entities must be allowed to continue free from outside interference or political influence, including with respect to ongoing cases," Kerry said.
In an exclusive interview with CNN after the meetings, Kerry said, "For the first time, the president has publicly committed to proceeding forward with the Major Crimes unit investigations and done so with a guarantee that it will be free from political influence. I think that's important."