Karzai: 'It's time for me to move on'

March 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, March 3 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the coalition war in his country was fought for U.S. and Western interests, not Afghanistan's.

"Afghans died in a war that's not ours," Karzai, who came to power after the U.S.-led invasion in 2011 toppled the Taliban-controlled government in Kabul, said in a rare interview with the Washington Post.

Karzai told the U.S. newspaper the war was "for the U.S. security and for the Western interest." He also called al-Qaida "more a myth than a reality," the Post reported in an article published Sunday, and said a majority of prisoners held by the United States in Afghanistan are innocent.

For months, Karzai has refused to sign an agreement that would allow the United States to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year. He has sought to add new conditions, which the United States has declined to accept, preferring to deal with Karzai's successor.

"It's good for them to sign it with my successor," he said.

Karzai can't seek re-election in April because of term limits.

"I've done enough; it's time for me to move on," Karzai said.

He also isn't supporting his brother's bid for the presidency.

Karzai said he's ambivalent about the results of the long war in his country.

"I am of two hearts here. When I see good, I am in approval. When I see the losses of Afghan people, our children, maimed and killed, I'm in disapproval," he told the Post. "Maybe I can give you an answer of yes or no two, three or five years from now, when my emotions have subsided. Right now, I'm full of emotions."

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