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Afghanistan, US launch bilateral commission
Publication Date : 04-10-2012
The United States and Afghanistan yesterday launched a bilateral commission to discuss specific steps for implementing a strategic partnership agreement signed in July.
The two allies also discussed plans to negotiate the next piece of their partnership: the bilateral security agreement.
This agreement “will establish the framework of our future security relationship based on our shared vision of a secure and stable Afghanistan”, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while addressing a joint news conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul in Washington.
The security agreement will supersede the current status of forces agreement for keeping US and Nato forces in Afghanistan till 2014.
US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador James Warlick will lead the US team in the security talks.
Eklil Hakimi, Kabul’s envoy in Washington, will lead the Afghan team.
The security agreement will allow the US and Afghanistan to build a “strong foundation” for a ”secure and better future,” said Foreign Minister Rassoul before joining Secretary Clinton for the first session of the commission.
Clinton vowed to stand by Afghanistan even after all US and Nato combat troops have left the country.
“We know that difficult days lie ahead. But despite the challenges, the US is committed to the people of Afghanistan and we have made progress together that too often is overlooked,” she said.
The Afghan foreign minister, however, underlined another key point, Kabul’s pursuit for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.