President Barack Obama signed an accord in the Afgahn capital of Kabul yesterday that assures the Middle Eastern country that the U.S. isn’t abandoning it, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. The assurance comes as the accord also acknowledges that the Western military presence in Afghanistan is coming to an end.
Obama signed the strategic partnership accord in the presidential palace of afghan President Hamid Karzai. The accord sets the broad outlines of America’s engagement for a decade after NATO completes its combat role in 2014.
Obama’s visit, which coincided with the first anniversary of the U.S. military raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death in Pakistan, was kept secret for security reasons. The unexpected visit was reported driven by the desire to sign the accord before Obama hosts a NATO summit in Chicago later this month.
After Obama signed the accord just after midnight, he spoke to several thousand U.S. troops in a hangar at Bagram air base. He also visited a base hospital before flying out before sunrise.
Obama told the troops that “we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq war is over…We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to Al Qaeda.”
Written by: Karen Benardello