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Afghanistan ‘loya jirga’ sets conditions for new pact with U.S.
Posted by The Agonist on November 19th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Habib Zohori | Kabul | Nov 19

SacBee – An overwhelming majority of the participants of a loya jirga or the grand council of elders on Saturday backed President Hamid Karzai’s call for a long-term partnership with the United States that would come into effect after the withdrawal of international troops in 2014.

“In order to protect the achievement of the last 10 years and given the political situation in the region, a strategic partnership with the United States is considered to be necessary for the political, economical and military stability of the country,” the meeting’s final resolution said.

But that agreement would require the U.S. to agree to a complete halt of night raids, the arbitrary detention of Afghan suspects, the closure of all American detention centers in Afghanistan, and the transfer of all Afghan detainees to government-run prisons, according to the resolution, which was issued on the fourth and last day of the council.

Karzai said that he had worried that the Jirga might reject the strategic partnership or that the participants would take a soft approach toward the issue and fail to set out enough conditions. But Karzai said he was satisfied with the result. “I absolutely agree with it,” Karzai said.

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