Afghan-US strategic pact finalised: Faizi
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan and the United States on Sunday finalised the contents of the much-talked strategic partnership pact, which would be sent to both countries’ parliaments for the final consultations, an official said.
President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan News that although the deal was finalised, foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul and national security advisor, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, were to brief both houses of Parliament on the contents on Monday.
After approved by the Parliament, the agreement would be sent to President Karzai after seeking opinions from former Jihadi leaders and intellectuals in this regard, he said. Although, Faizi denied giving more details, but added the pact includes long term partnership in many important areas.
The text of the agreement lasting a decade was locked and now both sides would review the document for a final consultation, he said.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Palace in a statement said the contents of the deal had been finalised and were ready to be signed by the presidents of the two countries.
Marked by Spanta and the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan C Crocker, the documents were exchanged at a meeting of the National Security Council at the palace, the statement said.
The statement quoted Spanta as saying the accord was finalised after 18 months of informal negotiations between officials from the two countries. The accord was initially held up due to some demands from President Karzai, including protecting national sovereignty, Afghan control of jails and an end to nighttime operation on Afghans residences.
However, the US later agreed to sign accords on the transfer of all US-run Afghan jails to the control of local authorities and Afghanising night-time raids, which remained major sticking points to the strategic partnership deal. Kabul has entered similar deals with several countries, including India.
In late 2011, the traditional grand assembly attended by more than 2,000 tribal elders had suggested the creation of US military bases in Afghanistan for a decade after the 2014 withdrawal of foreign troops as part of the strategic cooperation pact.
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