US, Afghanistan to conclude partnership deal

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 15:36

Washington: Asserting that US and Afghanistan
are strategic partners, Kabul`s top diplomat to Washington has said that negotiations with America are on track to conclude a
strategic partnership document.

"We are in the middle of negotiation with the US about
strategic partnership document. We have talked on different
subjects and provisions of the document and we are hopeful
that we would come to the conclusions soon," Afghan Ambassador
to the US Eklil Hakimi told Washington Indian News Group
(WING) a recently formed group of Washington-based Indian
journalists.

"Last year, we signed a strategic declaration with NATO
that with the support of our international partners from July
of this year, we would start the transition and this has
already started from seven areas of the country," he said.

He refrained from answering questions with regard to the
tragic incident over the weekend in which 30 American soldiers
and seven Afghan soldiers were killed after a helicopter
carrying them was shot down by the insurgents.

Hakimi praised India`s role in Afghanistan, which he said so far has been to the tune of USD 2 billion.

"The support that we have received from India in
different areas, is something that we cherish," he said.

The High Peace Council headed by a former Afghan
President went to New Delhi recently and they discussed with
the Indian leaders on the ongoing reconciliation process.

"There is a better understanding in the top level," he said in response to a question.

"During the meetings it has been discussed and also we
received assurance from the Indian Government that they are
supporting the Afghan-led reconciliation, to which we are
grateful," he said.

Pakistan, he said, can play a crucial role in the
success of reconciliation.

Hakimi noted that the reconciliation process is in a very
early stage of trust building with opposition forces, but this
requires co-operation and support from both India and
Pakistan.

"A channel of communication has been established with
the opposition group," he said.

Responding to a question on the role of India in
Afghanistan, he said it is mainly concentrated towards the
developmental aspect and is highly appreciated by the people
of his country.

However, there is no talk of any role of India in the
security arena, which as of now is taken care of by the
international alliance led by US and NATO countries.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 15:36

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