Karzai Attacks U.S. Officials in Prisoner-Release Fight

The 65 detainees were released over strong objections from U.S. officials.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan speaks during the Opening Ceremony & Leaders Panel at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum at ExCel on October 29, 2013 in London, England.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Feb. 13, 2014, 11:13 a.m.

Afghan Pres­id­ent Ham­id Kar­zai ac­cused the United States of “har­ass­ing” his coun­try over the de­cision to re­lease 65 pris­on­ers, adding that Afgh­anistan’s sov­er­eignty must be re­spec­ted.

The Afgh­anistan gov­ern­ment re­leased the de­tain­ees on Thursday des­pite strong ob­jec­tions from U.S. of­fi­cials, who be­lieve the pris­on­ers are re­spons­ible for the death or in­jury of co­ali­tion and Afghan se­cur­ity forces.

“Afgh­anistan is a sov­er­eign coun­try. If Afgh­anistan ju­di­ciary au­thor­it­ies de­cide to re­lease pris­on­ers, it is of no con­cern to the United States,” Kar­zai said while speak­ing at a sum­mit in Tur­key, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion, De­fense De­part­ment, and con­gres­sion­al of­fi­cials re­peatedly pressed for Afgh­anistan to keep the de­tain­ees in cus­tody. The Pentagon on Wed­nes­day char­ac­ter­ized the re­lease as “a ma­jor step back­ward for the rule of law in Afgh­anistan.”

The back-and-forth over the de­cision by Afgh­anistan’s ju­di­cial sys­tem to re­lease the de­tain­ees has fur­ther frayed the already strained U.S.-Afghan re­la­tion­ship. U.S. of­fi­cials have be­come in­creas­ingly frus­trated as Kar­zai has re­fused to sign a bi­lat­er­al se­cur­ity agree­ment — which would dic­tate a U.S. mil­it­ary pres­ence in the coun­try after the end of the year — un­til after the up­com­ing elec­tions.

A State De­part­ment spokes­man sug­ges­ted Thursday that the United States was no longer put­ting a strict timeline on when the the se­cur­ity pact should be signed, ex­cept that “it needs to be signed soon.” Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have re­peatedly said that a pact needs to be inked in weeks.

What We're Following See More »
WILL U.S. RESPOND?
Russia Accidentally Bombs U.S.-Backed Syrian Forces
1 hours ago
BREAKING
CARSON UP NEXT
Zinke Confirmed As Interior Secretary
3 hours ago
BREAKING
GOODLATTE SENDING LETTER TO SESSIONS THIS WEEK
House GOP Blocks Dems on Trump Ethics
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

On a party-line vote, "the House Judiciary Committee defeated a Democratic effort Tuesday to obtain any information the Justice Department has on possible conflicts, ethical violations or improper connections to Russia by President Donald Trump and his associates. The committee’s Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte, opposed the resolution, even as he acknowledged the Justice Department hasn’t acted on his own request for a briefing on alleged Russian interference with the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign." He said he'll be sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting him to pursue "all legitimate investigative leads" into those matters.

Source:
WAITING FOR NEWS CYCLE TO REFRESH
Trump Holds Off on New Travel Ban
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump won’t sign a revised travel ban on Wednesday as had been anticipated, two senior administration officials confirmed. One of the officials indicated that the delay was due to the busy news cycle, and that when Trump does sign the revised order, he wanted it to get plenty of attention."

Source:
BUT THEY MUST PAY
Donald Trump Affirms Support For NATO
16 hours ago
UPDATE

Near the end of his speech Tuesday, Donald Trump made a firm proclamation affirming his support for NATO. "We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism," Trump said. However, he continued on, "our partners must meet their financial obligations."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login