(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he got most of what he wanted from the U.S. as a condition of signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement that defines America’s role in Afghanistan from 2014 and over the next ten years.
President Obama made a secret trip to Kabul on Tuesday to ink the pact that gives the U.S. a limited military role once most troops are withdrawn in two years and guarantees an annual stipend to the Afghan government to maintain its operation.
In remarks made from the presidential palace Thursday, Karzai boasted about laying out tough preconditions, which include Afghans taking control of detention centers controlled by U.S. forces and national forces leading raids on enemy targets, with American soldiers primarily in back-up positions.
As for what happens once all security responsibilities are handed off to his soldiers and police, Karzai said the U.S. also agreed not to launch any strikes against other countries from bases that remain after the major troop drawdown.
Karzai also claimed that he would not sign the SPA in Chicago at a NATO summit this month as originally planned, saying it was essential for the pact to be formally agreed to on Afghan soil.
Reaching out to all Afghans, Karzai concluded, “Afghanistan is now a dignified country. I call on you to come to Afghanistan, join the peace process and strengthen the nation of Afghanistan.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN