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Afghan president advocates strategic partnership with U.S. amid Taliban threats (2)

(Xinhua)

08:17, November 17, 2011

Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivers a speech during the opening of the Loya Jirga or traditional grand assembly,in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2011. Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said that having strategic partnership with U.S. would benefit Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

The parallel establishments, according to Afghan officials, means the United States and NATO-run civilian-military Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and private security firms run by foreigners.

President Karzai had in the past criticized the PRTs, private security companies and night raid operations, calling on NATO-led forces to stop searching houses and harming civilians during military operations.

"Our relations with the U.S. should be based on equity and be a relations between two sovereign independent countries," Karzai told the audience in his hour-long key speech.

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