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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid