U.S. President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on May 1 to meet with President Hamid Karzai and sign a historic strategic partnership agreement as the United States prepares to withdrawal most of its forces by 2014. In a televised address last night, President Obama provided an overview of the progress made over the last decade and details on the new relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. President Obama noted during his remarks that last year, the U.S. removed 10,000 troops from Afghanistan and announced that another 23,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of the summer. President Obama also discussed how the end of two wars will allow the United States to focus on a new set of national priorities.
Remarks by President Obama in Address to the Nation from Afghanistan
Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan
4:01 A.M. AFT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it's been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.
Today, I signed a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries -- a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.
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