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Mon Feb 4, 2013 3:56AM
Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the greatest threat to Afghanistan is not the Taliban but rather the interference by foreign powers. The Afghan president made the remarks in an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper and ITV television station, published late on Sunday. He also said the security situation in southern Afghanistan had been far better before foreign troops arrived. Earlier in the day, Pentagon officials said they expected US troopers to remain in Afghanistan. The Obama administration is contemplating a plan to keep up to 9,000 US troopers in Afghanistan to conduct what it calls counterterrorism operations and provide assistance to Afghan forces. On May 2, 2012, Karzai and US President Barack Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement in Kabul, which would allow the US to keep some military bases in Afghanistan after key US-led forces withdraw from the country. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but the country remains insecure despite the presence of many US-led forces there. NT/HSN/HJL