August 20th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Kerry on Karzai's promise: 'Actions speak louder than words'

For the first time, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is committed to allowing two key government anti-corruption units (the Major Crimes Task Force and the Sensitive Investigative Unit) to operate without political interference. Karzai made the announcement after a series of meetings in Kabul on Thursday night and Friday in which he met with Afghan and U.S. officials, including U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

In an exclusive interview with CNN after the meetings, Kerry said, "For the first time, the president has publicly committed to proceeding forward with the Major Crimes unit investigations and done so with a guarantee that it will be free from political influence. I think that's important."

Asked whether he believes Karzai's promise, Kerry told CNN, "It's not important that I believe the promise, it's important whether or not, in the next days, the promise is kept."

"In the end, the test will be what the government of Afghanistan does itself to assume those responsibilities. ... Let's just see over these next weeks that the actions speak louder than words."

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