The White House said today that President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed to “further discuss concerns” about coalition troops in villages in the wake of last weekend’s shooting spree that left 16 dead.
Obama called Karzai early this morning to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter. Karzai and his wife, an obstetrician, already have one young son.
“The two leaders took the opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to the Lisbon framework, in which Afghan forces would complete the process of transition and have full responsibility for security across the country by the end of 2014,” the White House readout said. “The two leaders also affirmed that they share the goal of building capable Afghan security forces and strengthening Afghan sovereignty so that Afghans are increasingly in charge of their own security, with the lead for combat operations shifting to Afghan forces, with U.S. forces in support, in 2013.”
Karzai lashed out at the U.S. to reporters today, saying the killing in Kandahar province in addition to the burning of Qurans was all too much.
“This has been going on for too long. You have heard me before. It is by all means the end of the rope here,” Karzai said, dressed in black and beginning meetings with village elders and families of the massacre victims, according to Reuters.
Karzai charged that the U.S., which scuttled the still-unidentified staff sergeant out of the country this week, wasn’t fully cooperating with the investigation and questioned if there was one shooter.
“They believe it’s not possible for one person to do that. In (one) family, in four rooms people were killed, women and children were killed, and they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire,” Karzai said. “That one man cannot do.”
The White House said Obama and Karzai “agreed to stay in close touch.”
“The two leaders also discussed President Karzai’s recent reiteration of his longstanding concerns regarding night raids and house searches and recommitted to conclude ongoing negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding to resolve those concerns,” the White House said. “They also agreed to further discuss concerns voiced by President Karzai about the presence of foreign troops in Afghan villages.”