News / Asia

US Senators Urge Afghan President to Sign Security Deal

U.S. Senator John McCain speaks during a news conference at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 2, 2014.
U.S. Senator John McCain speaks during a news conference at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 2, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
A group of visiting U.S. senators met Thursday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to urge him to sign a key bilateral security agreement without further delay. The lawmakers also warned the Afghan leader against releasing dozens of dangerous prisoners without putting them on trial, saying it would have a devastating impact on ties between the two countries.  

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were part of the visiting American delegation that held detailed talks with President Karzai to emphasize the need for urgently signing the bilateral security agreement.  
Senator Graham later told reporters in Kabul that progress on the pact is crucial before President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union speech to the American people.
 
“What is he going to tell the American people about Afghanistan?  If there is no bilateral security agreement signed, he cannot commit troops in the future and Congress cannot fund," Graham said. "So, time is running out.  We need to get this agreement done in a mutually beneficial way soon, or we will lose the opportunity to secure Afghanistan and we will have another Iraq in the making.”

The agreement would allow for a reduced U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after NATO ends its combat mission by the end of this year.  The troops would advise and train Afghan forces in addition to continue conducting counterterrorism operations.

President Karzai has refused to sign the accord unless certain conditions are met.  They include halting U.S. raids on Afghan homes and helping the Kabul government open peace talks with the Taliban.

Senator McCain told reporters that without the security deal, the United States would not be able to station its soldiers past 2014.
 
“I am confident from our conversation that the differences have been narrowed to a point where we could get them resolved in a very short time period," McCain said.
 
Senator Graham said his delegation also warned Mr. Karzai that the planned release of a group of 88 dangerous detainees from an Afghan prison would deal a blow to bilateral ties because it would violate agreements already in place to deal with these inmates.  

“There is much evidence to suggest a wrongdoing," Graham said. "Over 60 coalition forces have been killed as a result of actions by these 88 and 57 Afghans have been killed by the actions of these 88.  If this release goes forward, it would be undercutting the (Afghan) rule of law, it would be a major step backward and it would have an unbelievably negative impact on the future relationship between the American people and the Afghan government.”
 
The senator says the detainees must be put on trial in Afghan courts to let the judicial process decide their fate.  He says the United States hopes President Karzai will intervene to halt the release of the prisoners.

The Afghan president has created a special review committee to investigate and determine the fate of prisoners captured by Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces in counterterrorism operations.  The panel has recently set free more than 500 detainees, while it plans the release of the 88 in question from the Bagram prison north of Kabul.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid