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    Crocker expects strategic pact before Chicago summit

    KABUL (PAN): US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan C. Crocker on Sunday welcomed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on special operations, giving Afghans the control of controversial night raids.

    The MoU was an important illustration of the US commitment to Afghan sovereignty, as the allies moved forward to completing the transition of responsibility for the country’s security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, he said. 

    “As President Obama has said, we are making sure this transition is not abrupt, but a path marked by benchmarks and steps that build Afghan capacity,” the ambassador said in a statement from the US embassy. 

    In keeping with the request of the Loya Jirga, he added, Afghans were taking responsibility for special operations. The deal also marked another major step towards the goal of ensuring a stable, secure and sovereign Afghanistan.

    “We hope now to conclude our strategic partnership negotiations with the government of Afghanistan ahead of the Chicago NATO summit in May,” Crocker concluded.