News / USA

Obama, Karzai Agree on Foreign Support Role

US Troops to Hand Over Lead Fighting Role to Afghansi
X
January 12, 2013 1:06 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai said Friday American troops will hand the lead role in fighting the Taliban to Afghan forces in the next few months. The remarks followed a meeting of the two leaders at the White House. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details.
Watch related video by VOA's Meredith Buel
U.S. President Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan have committed to transitioning foreign forces into an advise and support role in the coming months.

The two presidents spent about four hours holding bilateral talks that included Afghan and U.S. delegations, a working lunch and a joint news conference.

Just before they addressed reporters, a joint written statement reaffirmed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2012, which among other things commits the United States to a presence in Afghanistan until 2024.  

Afghan national security

Afghan national security forces are to assume the operational lead for security later this year. U.S. forces now numbering 66,000 would pull back patrols from Afghan villages and end most unilateral combat operations.

International forces would officially move into a training, advising, and support role. After final NATO and Afghan approval, a final stage of transition would begin.

Obama said their meeting came at a "critical moment" and that while challenges remain, the agreements reached show the transition is on track.

NATO Countries With Most Troops in Afghanistan
(as of July 17, 2012)


United States  90,000
Britain               9,500
Italy                   3,816
France              3,308
Poland              2,457
Turkey              1,327

Afghan security forces on duty
(as of March 2012)     344,108
"But let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission: training, advising, assisting Afghan forces.  It will be a historic moment, and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty, something I know that President Karzai cares deeply about, as do the Afghan people," said Obama.

Obama will make specific decisions in the coming months regarding U.S. troop levels after 2014, based on recommendations from military commanders. He and Karzai downplayed the importance of troop numbers.

"Numbers are not going to make a difference to the situation in Afghanistan. It is the broader relationship that will make a difference to Afghanistan and beyond in the region," said Karzai.

Remaining issues

Obama said any post-2014 U.S. presence depends on resolving the question of immunity for U.S. forces. Karzai said once the issue is resolved in talks for a bilateral security agreement, he will argue to the Afghan people in favor of immunity.

Obama said both sides remain focused on ensuring that Afghan forces have the capacity to handle security, and on preventing "remnants of al-Qaida or other affiliates" from threatening the United States.

Asked about the huge costs of the war, the president recalled the al-Qaida attacks of September 11, 2001, saying everything U.S. forces have done over 11 years have been aimed at achieving a key objective.

"We achieved our central goal, which is - or have come very close to achieving our central goal - which is to incapacitate al-Qaida, to dismantle them, to make sure that they cannot attack us again," said Obama.

Continuing Taliban deliberations

Both leaders reiterated their commitment to ongoing negotiations with the Taliban, announcing they support the opening of an office in Doha, Qatar, to facilitate the process and involve other regional players, including Pakistan.

Obama said any reconciliation process will be impossible unless the Taliban renounce terrorism and recognize the Afghan Constitution, including its protections for women and minorities.

The two sides also agreed to place Afghan detainees under Afghan sovereignty and control, while the United States pledged to continue assisting the Afghan detention system.

The Afghan leader said his government continues the fight against corruption in his country, with some success. He said "corruption that is foreign in origin" is a problem that needs to be recognized.

Karzai said he looks forward to a well-organized, interference-free election in April 2014, saying he will be a "happily-retired president."

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jerry Frey from: USA
January 11, 2013 7:54 PM
Afghan MPs warn against total pullout of US troops
Disaster and civil war will follow if all US forces leave after 2014, leaders warn, as Obama and Karzai prepare to hold talks


http://napoleonlive.info/what-i-think/common-sense-about-afghanistan/

by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
January 11, 2013 7:39 PM
Large amounts of foreign aid with Karzai's name on the "pay to" line of the check no doubt.

by: babrakkarwand from: hungary
January 11, 2013 12:55 PM
it is the time to appreciate from America government and people to helped us and pushed Taliban from our country , so now extremely a huge percentage of Afghan people like to USA army stay beyond 2014 ,if they leave alone like Russia which leaved us and started fighting between afghans by the support of our neighbors .

by: UsmcJimdaddy E Davis Isst
January 11, 2013 10:15 AM
Eye have to be honest,eye do not trust Karzai or the Taliban.It looks to our intelligence that they are on the same side,against the U.S.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs