President Karzai: "Afghanistan and the United States Will Work Out A Modality for Bilateral Security Agreement That Will Ensure the Interests of Afghanistan and Also the Interests of the United States"

January 11, 2013- Following the arrival ceremony, President Hamid Karzai touched upon the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States of America during his brief remarks with Leon Panetta US Secretary of Defense, where the President showed confidence that during his trip, Afghanistan and the United States would be able to work out a modality for a bilateral security agreement to ensure both the interests of Afghanistan and of the United States.

Leon Panetta US Secretary of Defense warmly welcomed President Karzai on Thursday with a special formal ceremony held in his honor at Pentagon.

The President received a full-honors arrival ceremony, including a 21-gun salute. After the national anthems of Afghanistan and the United States were played, escorted by US Commander of Troops, the President reviewed the honor guards welcoming him to the Pentagon as well as he toured the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.

The ceremony was followed by brief remarks with US Secretary of Defense, in which President Karzai said, “As we move forward toward the completion of the transition, I'm glad we are going to announce the final and fifth tranche mid 2013: Afghanistan will be taking over responsibility for its own security.”

President Karzai thanked the United States and Afghanistan’s all other allies for providing Afghanistan the assistance that was needed in the past 11 years and for training and equipping the Afghan security forces.

The President addressed Secretary Panetta, “I can assure you, Mr. Secretary, that Afghanistan will, with the help that you provide, be able to provide security to its people and to protect its borders; so Afghanistan would not ever again be threatened by terrorists from across our borders.”

Describing Afghan-US partnership successful, Secretary Leon Panetta reassured President Karzai, “I also want to assure you, my friend, that the United States and the Department of Defense are fully committed to helping the people of Afghanistan secure and govern your own country.”

US Secretary of Defense pointed to the relations between Afghanistan and the United States, saying that Afghanistan and the United States have sacrificed together in the war on terror within the past 11 years, which has created a bond that would not be broken in the future.

Commending the bravery and the skill of the Afghan security forces, Leon Panetta underscored, “They [Afghan security forces] are demonstrating, alongside the United States and coalition forces, every day the bravery, the courage and the capability to provide the security you need in order to ensure a safe future for your nation.”