Afghanistan President-Elect To Sign Bilateral Security Agreement: 10,000 U.S. Soldiers To Stay

The war-torn country of Afghanistan has experienced Soviet invasion, terrorism, and U.S. occupation as a result of the 2001 “War on Terror.” On Monday (September 29), it saw the potential changeover from corruption and war to peace and hope. According to ABC News, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in earlier today. Hamid Karzai exits as Afghanistan’s president, a position he’d held since 2001.

As Afghanistan’s new president was sworn in, he marked the event by fulfilling a promise and a call for peace.

“Moments after Ghani Ahmadzai took the oath, he swore in his election challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, as chief executive, fulfilling a political pledge he had taken to share power and defuse election tensions that had threatened to spark violence between the country’s north and southeast”

The promise and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s presidency were part of a last minute U.S.-brokered solution to the allegations of fraud alleged by both sides. After the U.N. counted the votes, U.S. officials helped broker the deal that gave presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah the position as Afghanistan’s chief executive, ABC News reports.

Fox News reports that Afghanistan’s new leader called for the Taliban and other terrorist fighters to lay down their weapons. This comes on the same day 12 civilians and police offers were killed in an attack by these groups.

Afghanistan President-Elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai told onlookers, “We are tired of war.” He went on to say that his message was “peace,” though cautioned that it “did not mean” they were “weak.” According to ABC News, Afghanistan’s new leader is in finance. He served as the country’s finance minister and as a World Bank official.

The transfer of power, seemingly much more democratic than in previous elections, was peaceful, and the relationship in the room between Abdullah and Ahmadzai seemed to be the proof. Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s new chief executive, thanked the people and Hamid Karzai for the peaceful election.

“We are committed as one in the national unity government. Our commitment will be fulfilled together as unified team to create national unity.”

This was despite the constant attacks that sought to disrupt Afghanistan’s election. The newly elected Afghanistan president gave his people assurances that he and Abdullah wish to be held accountable for their actions, ABC News reported.

“We want to be held accountable. I am your leader but I am no better than you. If I make mistakes, you should hold me accountable.”

According to Fox News, the U.S. expects the newly elected Afghanistan leaders to sign a favorable deal that will allow the U.S. to stay in Afghanistan past December 31.

“A senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that Afghanistan will sign a deal Tuesday to allow American soldiers to remain in the country past the end of the year. The deal will allow about 10,000 American troops to stay in the country after the international combat mission ends on December 31.”

At this time, it is unclear if the agreement will be signed. It does, however, seem unlikely considering Hamid Karzai’s feelings towards the new leaders. The former Afghanistan president has continually rejected all U.S. proposals towards bilateral security agreements.

What are your thoughts on the new leadership? Will anything change going forward as a result? Leave your comments below.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]

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