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Afghan president outlines conditions for future US ties

Posted by The Agonist on July 27th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Kabul | July 26

AFP – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday outlined conditions governing negotiations for a future strategic partnership with the United States as he met defence chiefs at his palace.

The new US ambassador in Kabul, Ryan Crocker, has said the US has no interest in permanent military bases in the country and does not want to project its influence in the region by remaining in Afghanistan.

But fears remain among many Afghans over any long-term American presence in the country following the departure of all foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

Karzai said Afghanistan’s conditions included foreign forces working within Afghan legal rules, US troops not taking prisoners or maintaining jails, and an end to controversial night raids by elite commandos.

He gave no details how the demands would shape negotiations, as he addressed heads of the army, police and intelligence services in a speech marking the end of the first phase of security transitions from foreign to local forces’ control.

“There are many other conditions on the economy and sovereignty and all other aspects… and about respect to the Afghan constitution,” Karzai said.

“They also have their own conditions, but we haven’t agreed on anything yet.”

Seven parts of the country were ceremonially handed over from foreign to Afghan forces last week, although NATO officials say it will be up to two years before each area will assume full control for security and governance.

All Western combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014.

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