Remarks With President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012 [open pdf - 134KB]
"'President Obama'. President Karzai, leaders of the Afghan Government and society who are here, and most of all, to the Afghan people, thank you so much for welcoming me here today, especially in these beautiful surroundings. I too want to thank Ambassador Ryan Crocker and National Security Adviser Spanta and their teams for the extraordinary work that brought about this day. I've come to Afghanistan to mark a historic moment for our two nations, and to do so on Afghan soil. I'm here to affirm the bonds between our countries, to thank American and Afghans who have sacrificed so much over these last 10 years, and to look forward to a future of peace and security and greater prosperity for our nations. Neither Americans nor the Afghan people asked for this war. Yet for a decade, we've stood together to drive Al Qaida from its camps, to battle an insurgency, and to give the people of Afghanistan the possibility to live in peace and in dignity. The wages of war have been great for both our nations. But today, with the signing of the strategic partnership agreement, we look forward to a future of peace. Together, we've made much progress. We've reached an agreement to transition detention facilities to Afghan control and to put Afghans in the lead on special operations. And today we're agreeing to a--to be long-term partners in combating terrorism and training Afghan security forces and strengthening democratic institutions and supporting development and protecting human rights of all Afghans. With this agreement, the Afghan people and the world should know that Afghanistan has a friend and a partner in the United States. Mr. President, there will be difficult days ahead. But as we move forward with our transition, I'm confident that Afghan forces will grow stronger, the Afghan people will take control of their future. With this agreement, I am confident that the Afghan people will understand that the United States will stand by them, and they will know that the United States can achieve our goal of destroying Al Qaida and denying it a safe haven, but at the same time, we have the capacity to wind down this war and usher in a new era of peace here in Afghanistan."
Compilation of Presidential Documents: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPD
Daily Comp. Pres. Docs., 2012 DCPD No. 00333