News / Asia

Karzai Says Will Not Sign US Security Pact Now

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last day of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul, Nov. 24, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last day of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul, Nov. 24, 2013.
VOA News
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is continuing to say that he will wait until his country's presidential election in April before signing a security pact with the United States.

In an interview with U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty that aired Wednesday, Karzai said the agreement was in the best interests of his country. But he said the U.S. must first end raids on Afghan homes and help jumpstart a stalled peace process with the Taliban before he would sign the pact.

"I have demanded an end to all American attacks against Afghan homes and the beginning of a realistic peace process. Whenever the Americans meet these two demands, I am ready to sign the agreement. And when these two demands are implemented, the pact is in Afghanistan's interests," he said.
 
Karzai also reiterated the United States must not interfere in Afghanistan's presidential election on April 5.

The Afghan leader appeared to have slightly scaled back his demand that the U.S. guaranteed the April election be free and fair following assurances he received during a Monday meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
 
In a separate interview with Afghanistan's TOLO television, Rice said Karzai must sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year, or the U.S. would have no choice but to withdraw all troops after 2014.

Karzai appeared unfazed by the U.S. threat.

"It is up to the Americans whether they want to stay or go. Even if we sign a thousand agreements with them, if it doesn't suit their interests they will leave -- just as they left Afghanistan alone in the 1990s during the years after jihad," said the Afghan president.

Afghanistan's grand assembly, or Loya Jirga, has urged Karzai to immediately sign the pact, which calls for some U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 to help the government in its war against the Taliban.

The security agreement would take take effect January 1, 2015. All international combat forces in Afghanistan are set to withdraw by the end of 2014.

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are both funded by the U.S. government under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which also oversees the Voice of America.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid