News / Asia

Kerry Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Mar. 25, 2013.
Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Mar. 25, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai on security cooperation and preparations for next year's elections. The unannounced visit follows agreement on the transfer of the last Afghan prisoners held by U.S. forces.

This is John Kerry's sixth trip to Kabul since President Obama took office, and U.S. officials say they are counting on his personal history with President Karzai to overcome some of the obstacles in this often-contentious relationship.

Paul Westpheling's Q&A with Scott Stearns who is traveling with Sec. Kerry in Afghanistan
Paul Westpheling's Q&A with Scott Stearns, who is traveling with Sec. Kerry in Afghanistani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Most recently, President Karzai said U.S. forces and Taliban fighters were colluding to destabilize Afghanistan.

Senior State Department officials traveling with Secretary Kerry say he is not here to "lecture or chide"  Karzai and is working instead to "move beyond this incident," in part, by resolving some of the irritants Washington believes contributed to the president's outburst.

There is agreement on a gradual withdrawal of U.S. special forces from Wardak province, something U.S. officials say is a positive sign of how Washington and Kabul are resolving issues in the interest of Afghan sovereignty.

There is also agreement on the transfer of the last prisoners held by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, with U.S. officials saying they believe that "detainees of most concern" will be held securely, humanely, and in accordance with Afghan law.

As a senator, John Kerry was directly involved with Afghanistan's 2009 vote. So as secretary of state he is looking to engage President Karzai in talks on 2014 elections as the international security force here prepares to wind down by December of next year.

On Afghan reconciliation, U.S. officials say they continue to support the Taliban opening an office in Doha, Qatar, and join President Karzai in calling on the Taliban to join the peace process, so long as they break with al-Qaida, lay down their weapons, and embrace Afghan constitutional protections for women and minorities.

Secretary Kerry wanted to go to Pakistan on this trip as well, but decided against it because of the ongoing political transition there.

Instead he met in Jordan late Sunday with Pakistani military chief General Ashfaq Kayani on a range of bilateral security issues, including counter terrorism and combating safe havens along the Afghan border.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

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

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
March 25, 2013 10:28 AM
I wish this trip could take an strong and positive discussion on future of the young boys and gils

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid