Afghans, US reach deal on strategic pact
KABUL - The Associated Press
Karzai (R) shakes hand with US Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Kabul. AP photoThe U.S. and Afghanistan reached a deal on April 22 on a long-delayed strategic partnership agreement that assures the Afghan people their key American ally will not abandon the country military or financially for years after 2014, the deadline for most foreign forces to withdraw.
The agreement is key to the U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan because it provides guidelines for any American forces who remain after the withdrawal deadline and for financial help to the impoverished country and its security forces. The final document is likely to be short on specifics. U.S. officials involved in the negotiations have said previously that the strategic partnership will provide a framework for future relations, but that details of how U.S. forces operate in the country will come in a later agreement.
Two NATO officials killed
Meanwhile, NATO forces said in a statement yesterday two international service members have been killed in a bomb attack on April 22 in eastern Afghanistan. The statement did not provide nationalities or other details. The deaths make at least 25 international service members killed so far this month.