Talks on strategic pact with US in final stages: Lodin
KABUL (PAN): Discussions on a strategic cooperation agreement between Kabul and Washington are in their final stages, Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister announced on Monday.
Addressing a joint press conference with German Ambassador Rüdiger König, Javed Lodin said talks on the pact that were briefly stalled by the December 5 Bonn Conference would resume soon.
In response to a question, he said the draft agreement would be referred to Parliament for approval and its details disclosed soon after it was finalised.
The accord was discussed last month by the traditional Loya Jirga, attended by 2000 Afghan elders. The delegates gave a conditional green signal to the agreement allowing the Americans to establish military bases in Afghanistan
Touting the Bonn Conference as a great success, Lodin said Afghanistan was able to muster the international community's support. Afghanistan is also eyeing strategic cooperation deals with Germany, England, Italy, France and some other countries.
The German envoy said the Bonn meeting was a major event on Afghanistan's future. König promised his country would continue to assist Afghanistan in diverse fields beyond 2014.
"The world will not abandon Afghanistan under any circumstances," he said, stressing the importance Bonn Conference declaration as an essential document. The envoy said a friendship agreement between Afghanistan and Germany would be inked soon.
Lodin said four key international conferences on Afghanistan had taken place, with another big meeting planned next year by heads of NATO member states in Chicago.
The summit would focus on strengthening Afghan forces, he said, adding another conference on Afghanistan was to be held convened in Tokyo, Japan, in July 2012. The conference will pledge new aid for the country's economic development.
A regional summit would take place in Kabul in June next year on regional issues, according to Lodin, who said yet another conference, slated for March 2012 in Dushanbe, would take stock of Afghanistan's economic situation.
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