News / USA

Afghanistan Designated Major US Ally During Clinton Visit to Kabul

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Saturday July 7, 2012.US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Saturday July 7, 2012.
x
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Saturday July 7, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai to a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Saturday July 7, 2012.
KABUL -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Kabul Saturday on a previously unannounced drop-in on her way to Tokyo for an international donor conference for Afghanistan. The Obama administration has made Afghanistan a preferred military partner eligible for quicker financing for U.S. weapons.

Clinton's stop in Kabul follows Wednesday's formal start of the long-negotiated Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

With that agreement, the Obama administration Saturday named Afghanistan a Major Non-NATO Ally -- a designation that makes it easier for countries to join in military training and acquire and finance U.S. weapons systems.

While much of that is already expedited through the international security force here, Secretary Clinton says the designation is a "powerful symbol" of the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan's future following the scheduled departure of foreign troops in 2014.

"This is the kind of relationship that we think will be especially beneficial as we do the transition and as we plan for the post-2014 presence because it will open the door to Afghanistan's military to have a greater capacity and a broader kind of relationship with the United States," Clinton said.  

Afghanistan is the first nation to receive Major Non-NATO Ally status since Pakistan in 2004 and joins other U.S. allies such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Japan.

Secretary Clinton met with President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace for talks that included expectations for Sunday's Afghan donor conference in Japan.

U.S. officials say Washington intends to maintain civilian economic assistance at current levels of between $1-billion and $2-billion a year beyond 2014 with the expectation that Afghans follow through on improvements in accountability and good governance. Secretary Clinton told President Karzai that his efforts will always have U.S. support.

"We know Afghanistan has an agenda ahead of itself to make key economic reforms, to fight corruption, to strengthen the rule of law, to attract more trade and investment," Clinton said. "And I want to commend President Karzai for his strong public pledges to stamp out corruption and build institutions that will be critical for Afghanistan's future."

Secretary Clinton says the Obama administration was encouraged by a call from Pakistan's parliament that its territory not be used for any kinds of attacks on other countries and all foreign fighters shall be expelled from the country. Many Taliban attacks in Afghanistan are staged from Pakistan.

On the sidelines of Sunday's donor conference in Tokyo, Secretary Clinton will meet jointly with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan to discuss cross-border cooperation and security.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs