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US-Afghan deal offers concessions for each: Aides

The United States will maintain exclusive legal jurisdiction over American soldiers and contractors in Afghanistan after 2014 as part of a draft US-Afghan security pact, congressional aides have said, providing details of an agreement that entails key concessions for each side.



Washington: The United States will maintain exclusive legal jurisdiction over American soldiers and contractors in Afghanistan after 2014 as part of a draft US-Afghan security pact, congressional aides have said, providing details of an agreement that entails key concessions for each side.

The accord, which is to be presented to a gathering of Afghan tribal elders this week, satisfies Afghan President Hamid Karzai`s demand for an end to controversial night raids by explicitly stating that US forces will no longer be allowed to enter Afghan homes.

But it also exempts the US government and companies from Afghan taxes and guarantees that Americans can`t be tried in Afghan courts. Instead, US authorities will prosecute instances of wrongdoing, according to aides who were shown copies of the deal.

No future US troop levels are laid down in the agreement, but US military personnel are permitted to operate beyond Kabul, as the Obama administration demanded.

"Based on what was presented, I`m certainly satisfied on taxes and the jurisdictional issues relative to the military and civilian personnel there on our behalf," said Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"But there obviously is still a provision or two that matter a great deal that haven`t been agreed to." Democratic Chairman Bob Menendez similarly said the bulk of the agreement has been finalized without getting into specifics. The committee was briefed yesterday by senior officials from the State and Defense Departments.

The congressional aides weren`t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and insisted on anonymity. For Karzai, the deal would put the US presence in his country more on his terms after international combat operations end by the end of next year.

From Zee News

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