Military Presence Aimed to Combat Terrorism: US
Kabul – The United States on Thursday reiterated that it did not want permanent military bases in Afghanistan and the objective behind long-term cooperation was to help Afghan security forces in the war against terrorists. US Ambassador James Cunningham, billing President Hamid Karzai’s recent visit to Washington as a success, told a news conference in Kabul that his country had no intention to pose any threat to Afghanistan’s neighbours.
During the three-day trip, both sides agreed to work together to realise their common goals, said Cunningham, who hailed the visit as fruitful for the two countries. However, he did not go into details. With regard to ongoing negotiations on the bilateral security agreement (BSA), providing for a future American military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, the diplomat explained the US planned to train and support Afghan security forces through a long-term partnership.
The presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan was in the interest of stability in the country and the region at large, the ambassador insisted. Another American goal was combating terrorists in the region and supporting the Afghans in such a campaign, he continued. If the government in Kabul and the Taliban failed to reach a peace agreement, Cunningham said, “Afghan forces will be responsible for defending their country.” He was confident the Afghan army and police were capable of dealing with the challenge, (PAN)