Excerpts of interview with Afghan President Karzai

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 03, 2009 4:02 PM

Excerpts of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Associated Press on Thursday at the presidential palace in Kabul:

___

U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL: "For Afghans, it's good that we are facing a deadline. We must begin to stand on our own feet. Even if it is with our own meager means _ whatever those means may be. And we must begin to defend our own country. And if we, the Afghan people, cannot defend our country, ourselves, against an aggressor from within or without, then no matter what the rest of the world does with us, it will not produce the desired results."

___

AFGHAN ELECTION: "The Afghan election was undermined, on purpose, in order to have a government in Afghanistan whose legitimacy could be questioned, and which would be weak. ... It did hurt Afghanistan a lot. Democracy was undermined, and the vote of the Afghan people insulted."

___

PAKISTAN: "There is no way that we will succeed unless we provide protection to the Afghan people. And also to convince the Afghan people that what we are doing is leading in the direction of the defeat of terrorism. And what is important for that? Regional cooperation ... cooperation and trust between Afghanistan and Pakistan."

___

"We need to do a lot for them (Pakistan) to trust us, and they need to do a lot for us to trust them. Our relations right now are a lot better."