Karzai welcomes Obama re-election, Taliban call for withdrawal


The re-election of Barack Obama as president of the United States was welcomed by President Hamid Karzai and Afghan political parties saying it would be effective for the US mission in Afghanistan, as the Taliban called on Obama to withdraw US troops immediately.
Karzai, who is currently on an official trip to Indonesia and India, sent his congratulations to Obama and wished him further success.
In a statement released to the press, Karzai said he hoped that with the re-election of Obama, the bilateral relations between Afghanistan and the US will grow “on the basis of mutual interests of the two countries”.
Afghan politicians felt that Obama’s leadership was a good outcome for the region, pointing to the experience of the Obama administration on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The Obama administration has experience from Afghanistan and the region – it can be effective for Afghanistan’s situation,” deputy chief of Right and Justice party Asadullah Walwaji said.
National Coalition chief Dr Abdullah Abdullah said that role of the United States will be fruitful in Afghanistan’s situation.
“There would not be hopes of a better situation in Afghanistan if there is not some basic changes inside Afghanistan after 2014 and if foreign policies return to the way they were in the past,” Abdullah told TOLOnews.
The Taliban released a statement calling for Obama to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan immediately, saying the war was unnecessary and expensive.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid urged Obama use this “golden opportunity” to solve the problems inside the US instead of “attacking and invading” other countries. He said Americans are tired of meaningless war and the unnecessary waste of money, so the US president should prevent his country from further problems by leaving Afghanistan.
The US embassy in Kabul held a ceremony on the occasion of the election result that resulted in a celebration for Obama.
US Ambassador in Afghanistan James Cunningham spoke of the mission ahead for Obama in Afghanistan during his second term as president with the key points being the completion of the US combat mission, the presence of US troops after 2014 in the country and the implementation of the Kabul-Washington strategic pact.
On the streets of Kabul, Afghan citizens were more concerned that the US remain committed to Afghanistan than who it was leading America. “Obama should make sure he keeps his commitment to Afghanistan,” one man said.
“We want Obama to end the Afghan war successfully, and to have strong support for Afghanistan,” another said.