News / USA

Obama Administration Calls Karzai 'A Reliable Partner'

TEXT SIZE - +

The Obama administration is downplaying differences with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, calling him "a reliable partner."  In a series of joint appearances on American television, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates talked about Afghanistan, Iran, and the upcoming nuclear summit in Washington.

Both Clinton and Gates say they understand the pressures on Hamid Karzai as a leader of a nation that has been a battleground for decades.

They say the Afghan leader is on track to visit Washington next month, despite his recent complaints about outside interference in his country.

Gates says President Karzai's controversial comments are the words of a man deeply concerned about his nation's sovereignty.

"I think he sees himself as the embodiment of Afghan sovereignty.  And so he is sensitive to public statements that he thinks are not aimed not just at him, but at Afghanistan," Gates said.

In an interview aired Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation, Gates stressed the Karzai government is cooperating with U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.

Sitting side-by-side with the defense secretary, Clinton urged people not to over-react to Karzai's controversial statements - most notably his angry reaction to American news reports of official corruption in Afghanistan.

"We know how difficult it is sometimes for foreign leaders, not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere in the world to separate our free press and everything that it says and everything that it claims, from what our government policy is," Clinton said.

The joint interviews with three American television networks were broadcast on the eve of a nuclear summit in Washington that will be attended by more than 40 countries. Clinton told CBS the goal is to come together to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states.

"We are seeking to get agreement and a work plan about how each country will do its best to better secure the nuclear material that it has within its borders to prevent the transit of nuclear material," Clinton said.

Gates and Clinton also talked about the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions. On NBC's Meet the Press, Gates was asked if a nuclear-armed Iran is inevitable.

"We have not drawn that conclusion at all.  And in fact, we are doing everything we can to try and keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons," Gates said.

Gates and Clinton were interviewed Friday at the Pentagon, one day after President Barack Obama signed a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.

Both extolled the virtues of the treaty, which must now be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

But a top Republican warned Sunday that a ratification vote will not come this year.

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said there just is not enough time.

"With the Supreme Court pushing to the top of the agenda in the Senate and jobs, terror and debt being our major issues we should be worrying about, this is a treaty for next year," Alexander said.

Alexander appeared on the Fox News Sunday television program.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid