Kabul issues demands to U.S.

Nov. 17, 2011 at 10:23 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Washington will get to keep military installations in Afghanistan so long as it meets the demands of Kabul, the Afghan president said.

Kabul is hosting a loya jirga to discuss what relationship Afghanistan would have with the United States. Delegates are also considering working with certain members of the Taliban, though a formal negotiation process was suspended when a key authority was assassinated in a suicide bombing.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was quoted by The Washington Post as saying he looked forward to a strong partnership with the United States and its NATO allies provided that relationship worked both ways.

"The U.S. wants military installations from us. We will give those to them. But we have conditions for this," he was quoted as saying. "We will benefit from this. Our soldiers will be trained. Our police will be trained. We will benefit from their money."

Afghan forces are tasked with standing up as international forces stand down following more than 10 years of war in a country formerly led by the ultra-conservative Taliban.

A recent survey conducted by the Asia Foundation found while most Afghans felt the pace of reconstruction in their country was cause for optimism, insecurity remained a top concern, especially as it relates to the Taliban.

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