U.S. President Barack Obama says the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Special Forces is a time for “reflection” for all Americans.
"The American people rightly remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice someone who killed over 3,000 of our citizens," Obama told reporters at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
He also rejected criticism that the White House was capitalizing on the milestone by participating in an NBC television news special featuring an interview in the White House Situation Room, where he and aides watched the raid on bin Laden's compound.
“For us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated, is entirely appropriate," Obama said.
Peace Hopes Fading, Says EU Envoy
Meanwhile, one year after the death of bin Laden raised hopes that the Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan could be defeated, the European Union ambassador to Kabul says early optimism about a resolution has faded.
Speaking to Reuters in Kabul, Vygaudas Usackas noted the recent suspension of peace talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban, saying "the peace process is not as easy as one may have expected," and that any resolution would require "long-term commitment from both sides."
Usackas also criticized the administration of President Hamid Karzai for failing to improve government accountability and transparency, and said Western countries may be reluctant to continue providing billions of dollars in aid money into the country.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP and dpa