US and Afghanistan have reached a strategic agreement that defines their relationship beyond 2014. President Karzai had demanded the transfer of prisons and the end of night time raids, and the agreement on these two contentious issues had earlier been reached. Now, the Afghan parliament and American security agencies will review the pact before it can be signed by the presidents of the respective countries, which is expected at the Chicago NATO Summit in May.
“The document finalized today provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world, and is a document for the development of the region,” commented the Afghan national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta.
According to reports, the pact does not specify the number of NATO troops or the funding levels that will be maintained beyond 2014. However, the deal signifies long-term US commitment to Afghanistan. It is also not clear how the deal will impact the stalled reconciliation process with the Taliban, who had earlier demanded removal of coalition forces from Afghanistan before proceeding further.
Meanwhile, Congressman Rohrabacher was refused entry into Afghanistan after he made controversial statements about the Karzai’s government.