Strategic cooperation pact signed with France
Karzai left Kabul for the European countries on a five-day trip on Tuesday. He also inked a strategic partnership agreement on long-term cooperation with Italy.
The Presidential Palace said the French government would support Afghanistan beyond 2014 after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country and insisted on Afghan security personnel’s training.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Karzai after the signing ceremony, French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Kabul to assume security responsibility for central Kapisa province in March.
At the signing ceremony, Karzai said: "We are pleased to sign a long-term strategic partnership agreement and appreciate the aid and scarifies of French soldiers for Afghanistan's stability."
"It is a time of pride for me to sign a strategic pact with the friendly country," the statement quoted Karzai as saying. He extended his condolences to the families of the French soldiers killed last week in Kapisa province.
The president said: “Afghanistan is prepared to take the security responsibly before 2014, and Kapisa will be ready to change hands in two months.”
France will cooperate with Afghanistan in the fields of security, agriculture, health, education, good governance, law enforcement and economy under the agreement, which will remain valid for 20 years.
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