Afghan-US partnership to benefit region: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday noted that security partnership with the United States would benefit peace and security in the region.

"The joint declaration we signed in Washington enables Afghanistan to live in peace and co-existence with its neighbors based on bilateral interests and mutual respect," he told journalists at his fortified palace after returning home.

Karzai also noted that stable Afghanistan would help stabilize peace and security in the region and facilitate economic activities among the regional nations.

Today's Afghanistan, he emphasized, is not the weak one as it was in the past to allow any one to interferer in its affairs, that days have passed and today "we are an internationally recognized and prestigious nation."

The declaration issued in White House on May 23 stresses for boosting bilateral relations between Washington and Kabul and paves the way for the US military long-term stay in the war- ravaged central Asian state.

"The strategic partnership's primary goal will be to strengthen US-Afghan ties to help ensure Afghanistan's long-term security, democracy and prosperity, " said Karzai. "It should contribute to peaceful and productive relations between Afghanistan and its neighbors. It is not directed against any third country."

"This partnership will serve as the basis for our common efforts to cooperate in the war against international terror and the struggle against violent extremism, to promote stability and prosperity in the region, and to remain steadfast in supporting Afghanistan's campaign," says the joint declaration received here.

The contents of the declaration are likely to be presented to the coming Afghan parliament late in September for approval.

Afghan notables, chieftains and members of last year's constitutional Loya Jirga or grand assembly in a meeting with Karzai ahead of his tour to the United States two weeks ago urged him to refer the question of US military bases to coming parliament.

Commenting on the controversial issue of foreign troops presence in Afghanistan, the Afghan leader advocated for their long stay here.

"We want the world not to forget us and leave Afghanistan alone unless we stand on our feet and ask the foreigners to withdraw," Karzai said to a query.

Before leaving for the United States, the Afghan president condemned the reported death of two Afghan detainees at US military headquarters in Bagram and demanded the shift of others from US custody either they are in Guantanamo Bay or home.

However, he returned empty-handed as the US administration rejected the demand.

"With the improvement of jail conditions in Afghanistan they will gradually give the detainees to us," said the president.

Source: Xinhua

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