Troop cut not to affect US-Afghan ties: Eikenberry
KABUL (PAN):The withdrawal of 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan over the next two years would have no bad impact on the country security situation and would not end the relations between the two countries, the US ambassador said on Saturday.
In a Wednesday evening speech, US President Barack Obama announced a plan to withdraw 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan over the next two years and completely hand over the security to Afghan forces by 2014.
“Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer,” said Obama on June 22, 2011.
"The withdrawal does not mean the end to US-Afghanistan relations, but the beginning of a new sustainable relationship and friendship, which will continue even after the security transition," Karl Eikenberry, told a press conference in Kabul.
“The basic interests of Afghanistan and US will not change and the day will come when Afghanistan will no longer be a terrorist-hideout," he said.
“The security transition process will meet challenges, but it is important for us to have control on those challenges,” he said.
He said there was no difference in Karzai and their goals, but in methods of achieving that goal, tactics and policies.
On May 31, Karzai said if foreign troops continued killing innocent civilians, their presence would change into an occupying force. But Eikenberry said comparing the US troops with occupation forces was not a fair expression.
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