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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid