By Voice Of America, Reprinted By The Raleigh Telegram
AFGHANISTAN – Today, Afghanistan and the United States have finalized a strategic partnership agreement outlining their relationship following the 2014 withdrawal of Western combat troops in the country.
A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office says the deal was initialed Sunday by Afghan National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta and the U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker. It said the agreement is ready to be signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Mr. Karzai
Spanta said the document provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world. Crocker said it cements a long-term stragetic partnership between “two equal and sovereign states.” No specific details were released.
Negotiations on the agreement saw progress recently after the U.S. agreed to Afghanistan’s demand for full control over the US-run Bagram prison and an end to controversial special forces night raids against Taliban insurgents.
President Karzai had also said he wanted a written commitment of $2 billion a year from the United States after the withdrawal.
U.S. officials said they could pay up to about $4 billion a year to fund Afghan forces. But they also said the strategic pact is not meant to be a detailed aid package, but rather a broad framework committing both sides to continue to work together for years to come. ::
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Voice Of America is a United States government run news agency.
Article Posted: Sunday, April 22nd, 2012.