Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the the Taliban and the U.S. of sharing the goal of convincing Afghans that violence will worsen if foreign troops leave Sunday, The Associated Press reported.
Kazai said that two suicide bombings that killed 19 people Saturday show the insurgent group is demonstrating that international forces will still be needed after their current combat mission ends in 2014, The Associated Press reported.
"The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: 2014. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents," Karzai said during a national speech about the state of Afghan women, The Associated Press reported.
Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary, expressed hope that the United States and Afghanistan can move forward, The New York Times reported.
Karzai criticized the what he sees as doomsaying reports by Western officials which he describes as propaganda used by Western news media and picked up by local Afghan news media, The New York Times reported.
Karzai said in his speech that any foreign powers that want to keep troops in Afghanistan must do so under conditions made by Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported.