Kabul, Washington agree on ending the war
CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (PAN): Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his American counterpart Barack Obama on Sunday agreed that a lot of hard work had to be done to achieve the goals in Afghanistan, even as significant progress had been made.
“We recognise the hardship that the Afghan people have been through. Both of us recognise that we still have a lot of work to do. The loss of life continues in Afghanistan. There will be hard days ahead, but we are confident that we are on the right track," Obama told reporters after meeting Karzai.
This was Obama’s first bilateral meeting on the margins of the NATO summit. During their hour-long meeting, the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, in particular the situation in Afghanistan after 2014, when foreign combat troops are to withdraw from the country.
Karzai said they had "a good meeting" in which Afghanistan reaffirmed its commitment to the transition process and this was vital as his country would no longer be a burden for the global community.
Karzai agreed with Obama that Afghanistan was looking forward to an end to this war. Speaking of the country's desire for "self-reliance", he said it was important that the allies ensured they help Afghanistan take steady steps to achieve the objective.
Referring to Obama’s unannounced visit to Afghanistan a few weeks ago, he said: “During that trip we finalised the partnership agreement that reflects a future in which two sovereign nations are operating as partners to benefit our citizens, but also for the benefit of peace and security and stability in the region.”
Obama also thanked Karzai and his delegation for their "hard work" on the partnership agreement. "The NATO summit is going to be largely devoted to ratifying and reflecting the broad consensus that so many of our partners and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) members have agreed to one in which we are working with our Afghan partners over the next several years to achieve a complete transition to Afghan," Obama said.
NATO will continue to provide support for Afghan security during this transition and Afghan forces have made "excellent progress," the US president said, adding that the process was also painting a post-2014 vision.
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