U.S., Afghanistan agree on draft security pact

Story Summary

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday reached a preliminary agreement on a bilateral security pact that now depends on approval by Afghanistan’s tribal leaders.

The pact, announced jointly by Kerry and Karzai after two days of talks in the capital, Kabul, would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014 .

It includes a key U.S. demand to retain legal jurisdiction over the troops that will remain in Afghanistan, which would give them immunity from Afghan law.

The United States is insisting it cannot agree to a deal unless it is granted the right to try U.S. citizens who break the law in Afghanistan at home in the United States.

Such operations carried out by the United States have long infuriated the Afghan president, who had been demanding Washington agree to share intelligence instead.

Karzai said the U.S. snatching of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander was an example of the kind of action that Afghanistan wanted to avoid.

Kerry said U.S. troops operated under the same standards wherever they were deployed.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai (R) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference in Kabul October 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail


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