Accessibility links

Afghan Leader Wants $2 Billion Annually From U.S.

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a gathering in Kabul on April 17.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a gathering in Kabul on April 17.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that his government needs at least $2 billion a year from the United States after it withdraws its troops by 2014.

In a speech in Kabul, Karzai said the United States should specify how much it will give to Afghanistan in a strategic pact that is being negotiated between Kabul and Washington.

The Afghan government has already achieved two preconditions for signing the treaty -- the full control of Afghan prisons and the controversial night raids.

Both Kabul and Washington hope the agreement, which will govern post-2014 ties, could be signed before a NATO summit in Chicago in May.

In his speech, Karzai also warned the Taliban that their attacks will only work to prolong the foreign presence in Afghanistan.

His comments come after a series of coordinated attacks hit Kabul and three other Afghan cities, leaving 35 insurgents, 11 members of the Afghan security forces, and four civilians dead.

Karzai said the attacks on April 15 only killed Afghans and caused damage to the country's infrastructure and economy.

Reuters news agency quoted Karzai as saying, "You did nothing for Islam, you did not work for Afghanistan's independence, and you did not work for its people, freedom, and development."

But Karzai, in an apparent effort to keep alive reconciliation efforts and hopes of a possible peace deal before foreign troops leave in 2014, also said he would continue to call the Taliban "brothers".

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG