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Karzai: "the fight against terrorism is not in Afghanistan."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai today said he's trying to arrange for a "sooner" withdrawal of foreign forces, according to the Associated Press.
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International forces are tentatively set to withdraw from the country by the end of 2014, but Karzai today vowed "a change in our relations with the world in 2013," said AP.
"From our vision, the fight against terrorism is not in Afghanistan," Karzai said at the opener for an Afghan foreign policy conference in Kabul. "That is why we do not want military operations in our villages, in our houses."
He also underscored the importance of Afghanistan's sovereignty.
"We are poor, but we are lord of this region," the Afghan leader said, according to AP. "Our history has proven that we are the lord of this region. ... So wherever you are based, you should act as a lord — a poor lord, but a lord."
Karzai is set to discuss the issue with President Barack Obama on January 7, said AP.
There are currently about 66,000 US troops and 35,000 allied soldiers serving in Afghanistan.