News / Asia

US, Afghanistan Agree on Strategic Dialogue

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell updates reporters during a press briefing at the Pentagon (File)
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell updates reporters during a press briefing at the Pentagon (File)
Al Pessin

During a meeting at the Pentagon Tuesday, senior U.S. and Afghan defense officials agreed to establish a regular strategic dialogue, designed to define and build a long-term defense relationship that a senior U.S. official says will endure far beyond the current conflict.  

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates hosted his Afghan counterpart, Abdul Rahim Wardak, and other senior officials accompanying President Hamid Karzai in Washington this week.  Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell says the 90-minute meeting focused on building a long-term bi-lateral defense relationship, and the officials agreed to establish a formal, regular dialogue to accomplish that.

"Everyone agreed that we need to engage even more often than we are," said Geoff Morrell. "We meet with them frequently but there is not a standing mechanism and schedule for those meetings.  And so this is a way to more regularize our relationship with Afghan defense and military officials going forward."

Morrell said the officials did not discuss details of the impending offensive in Afghanistan's main southern city, Kandahar, about which President Karzai has expressed some concern.  And the spokesman declined to provide details of any Afghan equipment requests made during the meeting, or to say whether there was discussion of a long-term security agreement, like the one the United States and Iraq signed two years ago.  But he said the officials discussed their vision for a long-term relationship.

"The secretary believes that there should be a relationship built on not just combat in this conflict, but training, equipping, advising, assisting in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism long after this current conflict has been decided," he said.

Morrell says the officials also discussed ongoing efforts to expand and improve the Afghan security forces and the need to further develop both countries' security relationships with Pakistan.  

He says Secretary Gates also reassured the Afghan officials that when U.S. troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July of next year, under President Barack Obama's plan, it will only be the beginning of a long process of transition to Afghan responsibility.  Morrell says Afghan officials understand that, but that some people in their country still have questions about U.S. intentions.  

He says Secretary Gates told his Afghan guests he has never seen as extensive an effort to build a relationship across as many government departments as he is seeing this week during President Karzai's visit.  The Afghan leader came with several government ministers who are meeting with their American counterparts to focus on interaction ranging from defense to diplomacy to agricultural aid and several other aspects.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid