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Pentagon says U.S., Afghanistan reach agreement on key detention facility transfer


14:27, March 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. and Afghanistan governments reached an agreement on Saturday to transfer a key U.S. -run detention facility to Afghanistan control on Monday, the Pentagon confirmed.

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Saturday morning about the agreement "to transfer the detention facility in Parwan to the sovereign control of Afghanistan on Monday," according to a readout provided by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

Hagel welcomed Karzai's commitment that "the transfer will be carried out in a way that ensures the safety of the Afghan people and coalition forces by keeping dangerous individuals detained in a secure and humane manner in accordance with Afghan law," the Pentagon said.

According to the readout, the agreement followed "an intensified round of discussions" this week between U.S. and Afghan officials.

The Afghan government and U.S. forces signed a memo in Kabul on March 8, which "sets in motion the transfer of the Detention Facility in Parwan," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force announced two weeks ago.

The detention facility in Parwan, often called the Bagram detention center, was supposed to be handed over to the Afghan government in January this year but was postponed for some reasons.

Hundreds of suspected Taliban and al-Qaida operatives, who have been detained by Afghan forces and NATO-led troops within the past 10 years, have been held in the facility located in Bagram Airbase, the main U.S. and NATO airbase.

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