Sunday Mar 16, 201406:44 PM GMT
Karzai to US: Get out of Afghanistan immediately
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the United States and its Western allies to immediately get out of the country by the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

President Karzai told the US in his address to Afghan parliament that local security forces were strong enough to defend Afghanistan without Washington’s assistance.

The remarks come as Afghan military already protects 93 percent of the war-ravaged country.

The president also warned the US-led NATO countries against continuous meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

"I want to say to all those foreign countries who, maybe out of habit, or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," Karzai said.

The remarks come amid a standoff between the US and Afghan leaders over the security agreement that allows the US to keep thousands of its troops in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal date for foreign troops.

President Karzai still refuses to sign the deal despite increasing pressure from Western diplomatic and defense officials.

Karzai has frequently accused the US of "absolutely" acting like a colonial power in its attempts to force him to sign the security agreement.

Afghan political groups have also warned that things will get worse should the US set up permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

They have also heaped scorn on the US-led forces for committing unforgivable crimes against Afghan women and children since invading the country in 2001.

Thousands of Afghan civilians, including a large number of women and children, have been killed during night raids by foreign forces and CIA-run killer drone strikes.

JR/PR/SL

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