May 2, 2012- President Hamid Karzai and President Obama signed the “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement” between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America” at a special ceremony held in the Presidential Palace.
Welcoming President Obama to Kabul at the ceremony, President Karzai said, “Today, we sign an important and historic document, in fact, the signing of this agreement opens a new chapter in the Afghan-US relations and closes the chapter opened ten years ago, it also opens a new chapter of friendly and equal relations.”
The President added, “By signing this agreement, as two equal and sovereign states, we start having friendly and stable relations built on the basis of mutual respect and commitments.”
With a view to importance of the strategic agreement for Afghanistan’s neighbors, President Karzai said, “The Afghan-US strategic partnership agreement does not pose a threat to any third country including Afghanistan’s neighbors but we hope that it brings about stability, development and prosperity to the region.”
Pointing to the fact that the people of Afghanistan have made countless sacrifices and suffered a lot in the past three decades, the President said, “I hope that on one hand, as the strategic document signifies our common determination to combat terrorism and contribute to global peace and security as well as bringing security to Afghanistan, on the other hand, it leads to security and prosperity for the people of Afghanistan.”
In the joint press briefing, President Obama said, “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.”
Pointing to the significance of the agreement, Obama stressed, “Today, we’re agreeing to be long-term partners in combating terrorism, and training Afghan security forces, 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.”
Giving assurances to the President that the United States of America would stand with the people of Afghanistan, US President said, “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.”