Cabinet hails strategic deal as crucial for bilateral ties
KABUL (PAN): Chaired by President Hamid Karzai, a Cabinet meeting discussed a proposed strategic partnership agreement between Afghanistan and the US on Monday, a day after the contents of the accord were finalised, the Presidential Palace said.
Under the accord, Washington pledged to help defend Afghanistan militarily for at least a decade after the country formally takes control of its own security.
The draft agreement signed on Sunday also says the US will only take such actions with Afghan agreement. The United States also pledged it will not launch attacks on other countries from Afghan soil, according to sections of the accord read out in parliament by National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta.
"Considering that stability in Afghanistan would be stability for Central Asia and South Asia, the United States emphasizes that any kind of interference in Afghan affairs would be a matter of concern for the United States," he said, quoting from the Dari language version of the agreement.
"If any interference occurs, the United States, with the agreement of both countries, will give a proper response, including diplomatic means, political means, economic means and even military means." He stressed that any such actions would be taken only with Afghan approval.
The Cabinet meeting that took place at the Presidential Palace called the agreement a crucial document for bilateral partnership.
“The Cabinet describes as instrumental the provisions that affirm respect to the Afghan Constitution, national unity and the relationship between Afghanistan and the US as two independent and equal states,” the palace said in a statement.
The meeting said recommendations of last year’s traditional Loya Jirga played a key role in drafting the agreement.
The participants further described as highly important the US support for strengthening Afghan security forces in order to be able to independently defend their country on their own. They hailed the affirmation of support to governance, education initiatives, including higher education and protection of the historical monuments.
The meeting also discussed similar agreements with Germany and Australia.
Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Richard Stagg, during a visit to southern Helmand province, said his country would provide $110 million annually to Afghanistan after the 2014 deadline.
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