Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Foundation of Afghanistan-US Relations Strengthened

Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, has announced that the US-Afghanistan relations have been strengthened after his visit to the United States, adding that the United States has pledged its long-term cooperation with Afghanistan, even after the end of the war on terror.

Results of Strategic Talks
Addressing a press conference on 18 May, the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan briefed the media persons about the results of the strategic talks between Afghanistan and the United States. He said that the main points of the agenda were the avoidance of civilian losses and respecting the administrative and judicial sovereignty of Afghanistan in the night raids. He said that the US President completely consented with the Afghan point of view. In particular, Karzai said, the US President was completely aware of the concern of Afghanistan over the civilian losses.

The Afghan president added: "In the course of our talks, we put forward the points of view of the Afghan people to the US Government, and a decision was made that the process of handing over the prisons in Bagram and all other parts of Afghanistan to the Afghan Government, which are at the moment in control of the United States, will be initiated from July 2011. It was also decided that top officials from both sides will be nominated to fix the time for handing over all prisons and investigation centers to the Afghan Government. Afghanistan will appoint its delegation very soon."

Security and Economic Ties
About the scope of the US-Afghan relations, the Afghan president said: "In this regard, talks with all levels of the US Government took place for more than one time. Afghanistan acknowledges the importance of its strong political, security and economic ties with the United States, as these relations will lead to sustainable development and security of Afghanistan. On this very basis, unlike its isolating Afghanistan during the jihad against the Soviet Union, this time the United States pledged a long-term support with Afghanistan.

The Afghan president added that the long-term US support will be extended in the fields of strengthening the bases of Afghanistan economy, and support starting from road construction to exploration of mines and mineral resources. Similarly, they would extend support in agriculture, education, health, and in enhancing the standard of institutions. In the same way, Hamid Karzai announced that the US Government had pledged that 50 percent support would be extended on permanent basis through the Afghan Government, so that the reconstruction funds are spent through the government. The president also said that the United States had pledged to extend long-term support for strengthening the Afghan National Army, the National Police and the Air Force of Afghanistan.

Unique Traits of Afghans
Hamid Karzai termed the results of his US visit multiaspect and basic. He added that the foundation of the US-Afghanistan relations, which was laid down a few years ago, had further strengthened because of the recent talks. He said that the US side was briefed on the history of Afghanistan and the unique traits of the Afghans. He said that the US authorities were convinced on respecting all values of Afghanistan. He hoped that the foundation of US-Afghan ties laid down in United States would help in avoiding civilian losses, search of houses and handing over of the prisons to the Afghan Government.

Similarly, the Afghan president said that the US Government showed its support to the national consultative peace jirga (assembly of elders) and expressed similarity with the point of view of the Afghan Government regarding civilian losses.

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