US forces to quit villages, return detention centres
“The US forces will pull out from villages, will go to their bases and our sovereignty will be restored,” Karzai said at a White House news conference with President, Barack Obama at the end of his three-day trip to the US.
Giving a rundown on the decisions taken during his meeting with the US president, Karzai said they had made progress on some important issues.
“Concerning Afghan sovereignty, we agreed on the complete return of detention centres and detainees to Afghan sovereignty. And that this will be implemented soon after my return to Afghanistan,” he asserted.
The two sides also discussed all aspects of transition to Afghan governance and security in the spring this year, when local forces will be fully responsible for providing security and protection to the people.
A joint statement issued by the two leaders at the end of the meeting said US forces would move away from combat role, pull out from villages and return to bases.
“At the time of the milestone (mid-2013), most unilateral US combat operations should end. Both leaders recognised that, as the Afghan forces take greater responsibility for security, improving the quality of the ANSF, including the accelerated provision of appropriate equipment and enablers, remains a key priority,” the statement added.
The presidents renewed their commitment to placing Afghan detainees under the sovereignty and control of Afghanistan, while also ensuring that dangerous fighters remain off the battlefield, it said.
Obama reaffirmed the United States continued to provide assistance to the Afghan detention system. The presidents also promised lawful and humane treatment of detainees.
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