KABUL, AFGHANISTANAn aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will seek military aid from India during a three-day visit this week. Karzai’s trip comes during escalating border tension with Pakistan, India’s archrival.
Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi says the president will discuss recent border skirmishes with Pakistan when he visits New Delhi starting Monday. He added that Karzai would seek Indian help in “strengthening of our security forces.”
The visit could irk Pakistan, which suspects its rival India of seeking influence in Afghanistan, which Pakistan considers its own backyard.
(CNN) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met over dinner in the Afghan capital on Sunday in an attempt to smooth over the latest dispute in the already strained relationship between the two allies.
Hagel told reporters he tried to reassure Karzai that the United States had no unilateral back-channel talks with the Taliban and said Washington is still on track to wind up its 11-year combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
“The fact is, any prospect for peace or political settlements — that has to be led by the Afghans. That has to come from the Afghan side,” Hagel said. “Obviously, the United States will support efforts if they are led by the Afghans to come to some possible resolution.”
Hagel, a former senator who took the helm at the Pentagon last month, is making his first trip to Afghanistan as defense secretary. Karzai, meanwhile, has been increasingly critical of American forces in recent months.
|“This is an important issue that we must discuss with our Afghan counterparts“– US statement
“In today’s [weekly] national security council meeting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak … within two weeks,” Faizi said.
Faizi said “misconduct” by people linked to the US special forces in Wardak included the beheading of a student and the capture of nine missing locals.
A US statement said it took all allegations of misconduct seriously.
But said the US could not comment specifically on this latest development “until we have had a chance to speak with senior government officials“, the statement by a spokesman for US special forces said.
“This is an important issue that we must discuss with our Afghan counterparts,” the statement said. FULL ARTICLE
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, joined by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, today hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the State Department for dinner. “This is a great opportunity for us to attempt, in a very humble way, to repay some of the hospitality I’ve enjoyed over the years,” Clinton could be heard saying during a press photo op.
By Lucy Madison
President Obama will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai this Friday to discuss ongoing negotiations over the U.S.’s post-2014 role in Afghanistan, but the White House says not to expect any final decision about how many U.S. troops — if any — will stay in Afghanistan after the war’s official drawdown at the end of next year.
In a conference call this afternoon, the Obama administration’s Ben Rhodes told reporters that “they’re not going to finalize that decision” in this discussion, but rather attempt to “reach a common understanding of how we can achieve” mutual objectives for the post-2014 relationship. Then, he says, negotiators in Washington “will be able to take that guidance and be able to finalize an agreement.”
Among the topics up for discussion include the impending transition for the 2014 drawdown, as well as the plan for U.S. support in Afghanistan beyond that date. According to the White House, any continued U.S. troop presence will be guided by a few key goals: Assuring the continued progress of ongoing counterterrorism efforts and training and equipping the national Afghan security forces, while also guaranteeing full Afghan sovereignty. FULL ARTICLE
By Mike Mount
The Obama administration‘s plan to solidify the number of U.S. troops that will be left in Afghanistan after the NATO-led operations end in 2014 should come into greater focus this week as Afghan President Hamid Karzai visits Washington.
With conversations scheduled at the State Department on Wednesday, the Pentagon on Thursday and the White House on Friday, Karzai should get a better sense of how the United States plans to maintain the relationship with his nation in the future. FULL ARTICLE
In the wake of President Barack Obama sending a three-page letter to Afghan President Hamid Kharzai, apologizing for U.S. forces having mistakenly burned some Qur’ans at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan, the Taliban is calling on Muslims to kill Americans or beat them and take them as prisoners. Read & Comment
- obama, Shut The Hell Up! (t2ctwn.wordpress.com)
- Afghanistan: Devout Muslims Respond to Obama’s Apology: ‘Kill Them, Beat Them, Take Them as Prisoners’ (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Obama apologizes for Qur’an burning – CANOE (cnews.canoe.ca)
- Qur’an burning protests: two US soldiers shot dead by Afghan colleague (guardian.co.uk)
- Obama sends letter of apology for Qur’an burning – CTV.ca (m.ctv.ca)
- Fisher: Qur’an blunder has made Afghan mission more dangerous (vancouversun.com)
- Qur’an burning protests rage as death toll reaches 23 in Afghanistan (guardian.co.uk)
- Fisher: Qur’an blunder has made Afghan mission more dangerous – The Province (theprovince.com)
- German army pulls out of Afghan base over Qur’an unrest (vancouversun.com)
- German army pulls out of Afghan base over Qur’an unrest (calgaryherald.com)