Rasmussen calls for early signing of Afghan-US pact
KABUL (PAN): The NATO secretary-general says the US-Afghan strategic cooperation agreement be signed ahead of the Chicago conference, but President Hamid Karzai insists on his government’s conditions being met.
Karzai and NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the strategic pact providing for US bases in the war-torn country during a conversation over the telephone on Thursday, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said.
A statement from Karzai’s office said Rasmussen hoped that signing of the pact would have a positive impact on the Chicago Conference on Afghanistan, scheduled for May 2012.
Karzai said his government was ready to sign the agreement, but recommendations of the Loya Jirga must be considered, and the US must respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty.
No Afghan national be detained by NATO-led troops, all prisons should be transferred to Afghan control and night raids halted, the president explained.
Rasmussen extended his deep regrets over violent demonstrations across the country after the alleged desecration of the Quran by US troops at the Bagram airbase. He requested President Karzai to continue cooperating with the International Security Assistance Force.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.