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Karzai Says Country Does Not Need U.S. Troops

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai
In his final address to parliament, President Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan's security forces can maintain order so the United States can withdraw all its troops.

Karzai told parliament on March 15 that Afghanistan's armed forces already protect 93 percent of the country and are ready to take over entirely after the drawdown of foreign forces this year.

Karzai also said that the last 12 years of war had been "imposed" on the country, without elaborating.

Karzai is not permitted to run for a third term and will step down after next month's presidential election.

He repeated on March 12 that he will not sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States that provides the legal basis for a small number of foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

All 10 of the presidential candidates have said they would sign the agreement.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa