Pentagon: Panetta enjoyed fruitful talks in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta believes President Karzai’s call for early troop pullback reflects his strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.
“The Secretary (of Defence) has seen President Karzai's statement. He believes it reflects President Karzai's strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan,” the Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement.
The reaction came in response to a statement from Karzai issued in Kabul in which he asked the US to pull out all its troops from Afghan villages and confine them to bases.
“The Secretary also believes that we have made good progress thus far in both security gains and transition, and that it is important for us to remain focused on those efforts in the months ahead,” Little said.
Panetta, enjoyed a very detailed and productive set of discussions in Afghanistan with Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and President Karzai, he said. “These discussions reaffirmed our shared goal of achieving an Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself on the timeframe agreed to at Lisbon,” Little said.
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