News / Asia

Afghan Officials Give Obama Speech Mixed Reviews

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Jan. 25, 2014.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Jan. 25, 2014.
VOA News
Politicians and peace negotiators from Afghanistan gave mixed reactions to parts of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address dealing with the future of U.S. troops in the country.

Obama said the United States is prepared to leave a small force in Afghanistan to help train and assist Afghan troops.

In a statement Wednesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he considered  Obama's speech to be positive. Karzai said there is no deadline for signing the bilateral security agreement and with patience and hard work both countries can contribute to the start of peace efforts.

Former Afghan Prime Minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, who is attending a conference in Islamabad, told VOA he does not think part of the international force should be left behind to train Afghan soldiers.

"If American or Western countries want to train Afghan soldiers that should be done in another separate agreement not including the existing American or NATO forces in Afghanistan," he said. "Even if [a] very small number of forces are there and agreed on, they will do what they want. And the things they want to do are not in the interest of the Afghan nation."

Ghairat Baheer, a spokesman for an Afghan insurgent group, says American forces should withdraw from Afghanistan "completely and unconditionally".

"Even if they are asking for the presence of their limited soldiers in Afghanistan through BSA [Bilateral Security Agreement] I think it is again a mistake, because even a limited number of their troops in Afghanistan their presence will be naturally the continuation of war in Afghanistan," Baheer said.

Maulana Shhzada Shahid, spokesman for Afghanistan's High Peace Council, says before international forces withdraw he would like to see the start of the reconciliation process.

"The people do not want the war to continue whether the Americans stay or leave," Shahid said. "So, the High Peace Council believes that the withdrawal of Americans is one part of the issue. But we wish that before their departure the process of reconciliation and talks also starts."

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid