January 12th, 2013
02:20 PM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Karzai doubts all U.S. troops will leave post-2014

By Samuel Burke, CNN

In the only interview that President Hamid Karzai granted while he was in the United Sates, he expressed confidence to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Afghan people will accept the United States’ demand for immunity for American troops left in place there after the 2014 withdrawal.

Karzai rejected the notion that has been floated that the U.S. might leave “zero troops” in Afghanistan after the pullout is completed at the end of 2014.

He told Amanpour that Afghans need some type of U.S. presence for “broader security and stability” after the withdrawal. For that reason, Karzai believes Afghans will have to grant the U.S. troops left there immunity.

“The United States will need to have a limited number of forces in Afghanistan,” he said, but was unwilling to give an exact number. “That’s not for us to decide. It is for the United States to decide what number of troops they will be keeping in Afghanistan and what strength of equipment those troops will have.”

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Amanpour • CNN Programs • Karzai
November 9th, 2012
02:03 PM ET

Israel says it will follow U.S. lead on Iran

By Samuel Burke

Israel is signaling a major change in tone toward U.S. President Barack Obama now that he has won reelection.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, gave what could only be described as a ringing endorsement of the Obama administration’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program. It has been a very contentious issue between the two allies, with the U.S. fearing Israel might unilaterally strike Iran’s nuclear sites and drag the U.S. into an regional war.

But Ayalon told Amanpour that despite past differences with the Obama administration over Iran, “I think today we can safely say that we are very much on the same page and will continue to follow the lead of the U.S.”

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Filed under: Diplomacy • Iran • Israel • Middle East