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Karzai confident he can get U.S. troops immunity

January 12th, 2013
01:55 PM ET
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Part 1: Amanpour & Karzai

Christiane Amanpour's exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai. Part 1: U.S. troop immunity.

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Part 2: Amanpour & Karzai

Christiane Amanpour's exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai. Part 2: The American presence in Afghanistan.

By Samuel Burke, CNN

In the only interview that President Hamid Karzai granted while he was in the United States, he expressed confidence to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Afghan people will accept the United States’ demand for immunity for American troops left in place there after the 2014 withdrawal.

In a joint press conference with President Obama on Friday, Karzai had stated that he would take the issue to his people, but now he has said that immunity is likely to become a reality.

“I can tell you with relatively good confidence that they will say ‘alright, let’s do it,” Karzai told Amanpour about selling the issue to Afghans. “And I’m sure that they will understand.”

At the press conference, President Obama said that he had stressed to Karzai that “the United States already has arrangements like this with countries all around the world, and nowhere does the U.S. have any kind of security agreement with a country without immunity for our troops.”

In the final stages of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, President Obama was unable to obtain a similar agreement, propelling him to withdraw all U.S. forces from that country in December 2011.

Karzai rejected the notion that has been floated that the U.S. might leave “zero troops” in Afghanistan after the pullout is completed at the end of 2014.

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