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Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Reacts to Karzai’s Criticisms

FILE - Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the United States does not want peace in Afghanistan, and that it invaded "because of its own interests."

However, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker told VOA Tuesday that the outgoing Afghan leader knows the war in Afghanistan served his interests, too, even if he is not willing to admit it.

Crocker said the U.S. went into Afghanistan because it is from that nation where the 9/11 attacks originated. Crocker said Afghan leaders cooperated because they knew a stable and secure Afghanistan that was not a safe haven for terrorists also was in their self-interests.

The former ambassador said Karzai, though not enormously happy and helpful toward the U.S., was willing to collaborate because the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan advanced the Afghan agenda.

Crocker, who is now dean and executive professor at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in College Station, defended Karzai’s refusal to sign a security agreement with the United States to allow about 10,000 U.S. military advisers and trainers to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

"President Karzai simply said he would leave a decision on the security agreement to his successor,” said Crocker.

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