KABUL - In the atrium of the King's Residence in the Afghan Presidential Palace, Presidents Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement, laying out details of the US/Afghanistan relationship from the withdrawal of US troops in 2014 through 2024.
After Karzai thanked the American people for helping the people of his country, President Obama said he had "come to Afghanistan to mark this historic moment for our two nations."
"Neither Afghans nor Americans asked for this war," the president said, noting that "for a decade we have stood together. We look forward to a future of peace."
"We have made progress," he continued, "now we will be long term partners in combating terrorism and training Afghan Security partners."
President Obama cautioned that "there will be difficult days ahead."
As the Afghan people take control of their own future, he continued, "I am confident the Afghan people will understand that the U.S. will stand by them. We will achieve our goal of destroying al Qaeda…and we have the capacity to wind down this war and have peace."
The two presidents signed the document, stood up and shook hands.
-Richard Coolidge in Afghanistan and Jake Tapper at the White House