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    Afghans want peace, stability: Karzai

    KABUL (PAN): Afghans want the United States to help restore peace and stability in their country and, President Hamid Karzai has said.

    At a meeting with a US Senate delegation on Sunday evening, the president said his nation wanted to have the presence of American forces legalised.

    NATO commander in Afghanistan, John Allen and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker also attended the meeting, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.

    The two sides discussed issues of bilateral interest, including the situation in the region and security transition from foreign soldiers to Afghan forces.

    "Despite progress made in different areas over the past 10 years, Afghanistan faces serious security threats. The international fraternity should focus on their removal," Karzai said.

    With Afghan forces take the security responsibility, nighttime raids, bombings and arrests must stop, Karzai was quoted as telling his interlocutors.

    US lawmakers said today's Afghanistan -- vastly different from how it was 10 years ago -- had schools, hospitals, asphalted roads and access to telecommunication services, as well as other services.

    They promised the US government would train and equip Afghan forces until 2014 and continue aiding the ally beyond the withdrawal of foreign troops.

    frm/mud