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U.S. and Afghanistan Reach Partnership Agreement

The United States ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, and Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Rangin Spanta, completed the wording of the draft, which will now be sent to President Hamid Karzai and to the Afghan Parliament for review and approval before it is signed by the presidents of both countries, according to American and Afghan officials.

“We believe we have a final text which will be presented to the president and also presented to Parliament for final consultation and approval before the signature by the two presidents,” said an Afghan official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the official did not have permission to speak to the news media.

“It covers the broad spectrum of the existing, broad-based, comprehensive partnership between the two countries with the view towards sustaining that for at least another decade beyond the end of transition in 2014,” the official said.

The document outlines the two countries’ future relationship rather than specifying exact amounts of support or programs, but officials from both countries have said that they hope that it will send a signal to insurgents and other destabilizing forces here that the United States is not going to abandon Afghanistan as it did in the 1990s after the Soviets were driven out.  Rather, the Americans will continue to support the country in many areas.

Negotiations on the document started more than nine months ago but were delayed repeatedly over the sensitive issues of night raids by American troops and the American operation of detention facilities.

Ultimately negotiators agreed to write detailed separate agreements on those two issues and signed a memorandum of understanding on the transfer of detention operations to the Afghan government in March. In April, they signed a companion memorandum handing final authority on night raids to Afghan security forces, who are now carrying out all raids unless American assistance is requested.

With those two issues resolved, the strategic partnership moved quickly to completion. The document promises American economic development support for Afghanistan and help in fields like agriculture and education, as well as security. It does not include any specific commitment of foreign aid because that amount must be authorized and appropriated by Congress and can not be committed by the executive branch.  Read More

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Posted on April 22, 2012, in #breaking news, International News, World News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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