Progress made on deal with US: Karzai
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai, rejecting reports discussion had been halted on the strategic cooperation pact with the United States, said on Tuesday that progress had been made on reaching the agreement.
At a joint media briefing with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in Kabul, Karzai said they had been engaged in dialogue with the US on the accord for a year and a half. Headway on the issue was made last week, he added.
“We talked to Americans even yesterday and asked them for certain explanations. Progress has been made but Afghanistan wants more clarity. The process is on and we hope to achieve a result that is in Afghanistan’s interest.”
His administration had it own conditions for signing the pact, the president said, while referring to the recommendations by last year’s traditional Loya Jirga.
In mid-November, the grand assembly recommended the signing of the pact that allows the creation of American bases in the country for a decade.
However, the delegates set certain conditions, including respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and an end to night raids by foreign forces.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski promised continued support to Afghanistan beyond 2014, when all foreign troops are scheduled to leave the country. He said they would press on with the training programme even after the withdrawal of Polish forces.
“I am sure our bilateral cooperation will go on even after the pullout of our forces,” he remarked, saying that Poland would supporting Afghanistan in education and capacity-building sectors.
With regard to strategic agreements with other countries, Karzai said the move reflected the international community’s continued engagement and cooperation with Afghanistan.
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