Monday Jul 22, 201303:23 PM GMT
Afghans prepared to sign US security pact: Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:2PM
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The statement comes after Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey met with Karzai and both sides discussed the Kabul-Washington security pact."

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed readiness to ink a security pact with the United States which allows American troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline.


Karzai's office said in a Monday statement that “Afghans are ready to sign a security pact with the US, on the condition that it leads to peace and stability in the country, the strengthening of Afghan forces, and a united and sovereign Afghanistan.”

The statement comes after Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey met with Karzai and both sides discussed the Kabul-Washington security pact.

The meeting was held a month after the Afghan president cut talks on a long-term security pact in protest at the Taliban opening its office in Qatar.

He was furious that the Taliban group styled their office in the Qatari capital, Doha, as an embassy for a self-styled government in waiting.

On July 11, CNN quoted a top US official as saying that President Barack Obama is seriously considering withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

In May, Karzai said his government was ready to let the US set up nine bases across Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

Many Afghans believe the US is envisaging permanent military bases there.

Afghan political groups have warned that things will get worse should the US establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

Afghan political figures have also heaped scorn on the US-led forces for committing unforgivable crimes against Afghan people, including women and children, since invading the country in 2001.

Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed during night raids by foreign forces and CIA-run assassination drone strikes.

MR/SS/SL
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