(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Afghan presidential candidate Qayum Karzai seems to be distancing himself a bit from his younger brother, President Hamid Karzai.
In an interview with the BBC Monday, President Karzai explained that NATO brought little stability to his country and that he is in no rush to sign a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. that would keep troops in the country beyond the end of next year, saying that American forces and their allies can leave if the pact doesn’t suit “Afghanistan’s interests and purposes.”
However, Qayum, 66, said in his own first sit-down interview since registering to become a presidential candidate that signing a bilateral security agreement should be done “as soon as possible.”
Unlike his brother, who has often been at odds with Washington and NATO during his eight-year tenure, Qayum acknowledges that Afghanistan’s security forces still depend heavily on U.S. and international assistance.
But the break from Hamid is hardly total. Qayum said if elected president next year, he would build on his brother’s three top successes: democracy, economic development and women’s rights.
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