MILITARY

Afghan president thanks US troops and says his country will not be a burden in future

  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani speaks with Secretary of State John Kerry at the Pentagon, Monday, March 23, 2015.  President Ghani made remarks to service members and veterans who have served in Afghanistan to thank them for their continued efforts and sacrifices.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani speaks with Secretary of State John Kerry at the Pentagon, Monday, March 23, 2015. President Ghani made remarks to service members and veterans who have served in Afghanistan to thank them for their continued efforts and sacrifices.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani speaks at the Pentagon, Monday, March 23, 2015. In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Afghanistan's president thanked U.S. troops and taxpayers for their sacrifices in nearly 14 years of war. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani speaks at the Pentagon, Monday, March 23, 2015. In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Afghanistan's president thanked U.S. troops and taxpayers for their sacrifices in nearly 14 years of war. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Afghanistan's President Ashram Ghani, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, arrive for a ceremony in the Pentagon courtyard. Monday, March 23, 2015. In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Afghanistan's president is thanking U.S. troops and taxpayers for their sacrifices in nearly 14 years of war.. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    From left, Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Afghanistan's President Ashram Ghani, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, arrive for a ceremony in the Pentagon courtyard. Monday, March 23, 2015. In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Afghanistan's president is thanking U.S. troops and taxpayers for their sacrifices in nearly 14 years of war.. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

In a ceremony at the Pentagon, Afghanistan's president is thanking U.S. troops and taxpayers for their sacrifices in nearly 14 years of war.

President Ashraf Ghani also offered assurances that his country would not be a burden on the international community as it continues to struggle against the Taliban and its own internal divisions.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter welcomed Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at a ceremony in the Pentagon's center courtyard.

It was a poignant setting for the start of Ghani's Washington visit. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked an American Airlines jetliner and flew it into the Pentagon, killing all aboard and 125 people in the building. The U.S. responded to the attacks on Washington and New York by invading Afghanistan a month later.