Obama, Karzai ink long-awaited strategic deal (Video)
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and his American counterpart signed the much-awaited strategic partnership agreement between Afghanistan and the United States at the Presidential Palace in Kabul late on Tuesday night.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan Royan Crocker, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander Gen. Johan Allen, National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Rahmatullah Nabil, National Advisor on Security Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta and other high-level officials from both sides attended the landmark signing ceremony.
Karzai and Barak Obama, who quietly flew into Kabul in the evening, inked the pact at about 12 midnight after addressing a gathering at the heavily-guarded palace.
Karzai welcomed his US counterpart and thanked him for his unannounced visit, saying: “With the signing of the agreement the chapter of the past 10 years will be closed and a new chapter of mutual relations will be opened. Our two independent countries start the relations on the basis of close friendship, mutual respect and commitments.”
Signing two crucial memorandums of understandings between the US and Afghanistan on handing over control of the Bagram jail and night-time raids to Afghans facilitated the conclusion of the strategic agreement, Karzai remarked.
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