On Karzai's Comment, US Says It Seeks No Permanent Military Base In Afghanistan

The United States has reiterated that it does not seek any permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

This was stated by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when a reporter sought his response to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's statement on Thursday that the United States wants to keep nine bases there after the U.S. withdrawal in 2014.

He recalled that U.S. President Barrack Obama has already made it clear that any U.S. presence after 2014 would only be at the invitation of the Afghanistan government and aimed at training Afghanistan forces and targeting the remnants of al Qaeda.

"As we have said, we envision that the bilateral security agreement will address access to and use of Afghanistan facilities by U.S. Forces," Carney told reporters.

Addressing the same question at a State Department press conference, acting deputy spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said "our presence going forward and the bilateral security agreement is still being negotiated. We're not talking about leaving thousands of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in perpetuity. That's not what anybody has been talking about and that's not been the aim," he added.

When asked "how close is the President to deciding the U.S. troop levels after 2014," Carney said "we are in the process of drawing down our forces in keeping with the President's commitment and policy, together with our partners, and turning over gradually full security lead to Afghan forces."

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