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Afghanistan presses for U.S. funding

April 17, 2012 at 1:27 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, April 17 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's president said he wanted the United States to guarantee $2 billion annually to fund his army and police after western troops depart in 2014.

President Hamid Karzai said in a speech Tuesday negotiations on a mutual security agreement had stalled over the proposed guarantee, which he said should be put in writing as part of the pact.

Voice of America said the Obama administration has expressed a willingness to kick in as much as $4 billion per year but prefers to sign an agreement that is more-broadly based and doesn't include hard guaranteed figures.

The weekend attack on Kabul by Taliban commandos underscored the need for a crack military and police service in Afghanistan to maintain the peace once the United States and its allies pull out, VOA said.

Negotiations continue with the United States hoping to have an agreement signed before the NATO summit in Chicago next month.

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