News / Asia

Karzai Outlines Conditions for US Troops Remaining in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks as he inaugurates Loya Jirga, grand assembly in Kabul,  November 16, 2011.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks as he inaugurates Loya Jirga, grand assembly in Kabul, November 16, 2011.

A traditional gathering of about 2,000 Afghans, called a loya jirga, has convened in the Afghan capital to discuss the agreement which will govern U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the deadline for the exit of foreign combat troops, at the end of 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai opened the four-day meeting with a speech saying that an agreement with the United States is in Afghanistan’s best interests and that a deal must respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty.

Karzai says Afghanistan is ready to have a strategic partnership with America.  He says he will give the United States the military bases, but the United States should not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal matters.

ASEAN FACTBOX


  • ATTENDEES:
  • Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
    Invited countries -- the United States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and South Korea.

  • HOT TOPICS:
  • South China Sea Dispute: Claimed in its entirety by China and in part by several ASEAN members. ASEAN members have accused China of intimidating their vessels in the sea. China has agreed to help draft a code of conduct.
  • ASEAN Community:
    Member countries pushing for an EU-style community by 2015.  Have not agreed on the pace for creating a common market or currency.

He also called for an end to night raids and for all U.S.-run prisons in the country to be put under control of the justice and interior ministries.

Gran Hewad, a researcher with the Afghan Analysts group here in Kabul, says there are no clear expectations for the four-day meeting.

“The agenda is not clear yet, what the government is saying generally that they will discuss the partnership with the United States and the peace process with Pakistan,” he said.

The meeting is being held amid tight security.  Delegates are intended to represent all facets of Afghan life and include tribal elders, and members of civil society.  But some government opponents are boycotting the jirga.  They say it is illegal and unconstitutional.

"The leader of the opposition party, Dr. Abdullah, Abdullah announced and asked his followers to don’t contribute, to don’t participate in the jirga," Hewad stated. "Even in the parliament, a couple of parliamentary groups and coalitions have rejected to attend the jirga."

The Taliban has threatened to attack the jirga and released what it said were the security arrangements for the meeting on its website. The government dismissed them as false.  On Monday a would-be suicide bomber was killed near the venue and two accomplices captured.  There are increased checkpoints here in Kabul and many roads near the meeting venue are closed.

The government has said anything agreed at the jirga must be approved by parliament before it becomes policy.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid