Saying that more than a decade of warfare had been imposed on his country by the U.S. conflict with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says foreign troops aren't necessary to Afghanistan's long-term security.
"I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said, according to The Associated Press.
The president's remarks came in a final address to the Afghan Parliament Saturday. After serving two terms in office, Karzai is stepping down following elections this spring.
Reporting from Afghanistan, Sean Carberry filed this story for our Newscast unit:
"Karzai says Afghan forces will be able to secure the country after this year when the NATO mission comes to an end. The term-limited president refuses to sign a security agreement he initially supported that would allow American military trainers and Special Forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
"Karzai, who has grown increasingly hostile toward the U.S., says America imposed war on Afghanistan and should have attacked terrorist sanctuaries in other countries. Although this was his farewell address to Parliament, the complex election process that begins on April 5 is not likely to be completed until late summer."
A leading contender to replace Karzai is former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who told the AP earlier this week that if he were elected, he would sign the security agreement within one month.