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Strategic deal with US on Afghan terms: Karzai

Strategic deal with US on Afghan terms: Karzai

Jul 26, 2011 - 19:42

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai, renewing his call for insurgents to lay down their arms, urged the Afghan security forces on Tuesday to meet security challenges facing the landlocked country.

Addressing a gathering of security officials at the Presidential Palace, he said if the insurgents continued to fight beyond the transition process, it would mean they worked for the continued presence of foreign troops in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

He congratulated Afghans on the successful completion of first phase of the transition process, saying the people had been waiting for the important switch. With the completion of the project, Afghanistan would eventually defend itself, he added.

With seven areas officially transferred to Afghan control during the first phase of the transition over the past two weeks, the project is expected to be completed in 2014.

Karzai expressed confidence in Afghan forces' capacity and capabilities. He said all Afghans wanted to be protected by Afghanistan's sons, something that involved hard work and sacrifice.

"NATOinfo-icon forces and the international community are helping our country. But this will not go on forever and we don't want it forever." Karzai said.

About the US- Afghanistan strategic partnership agreement, he said talks on the deal were underway. His government would not sign the deal it if its conditions were not met by Washington.

An end to of night raids, strict controls to prevent international soldiers from harming civilians and legalisation of foreign troop presence are among the key conditions set by Afghanistan, he explained. "We will come to an agreement only if our conditions are accepted."

"Training and equipment are not enough; the national army should be comprised of all tribes and should serve all people of Afghanistan, not a specific group or party," he stressed.


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