#AceNewsServices – ABU DHABI – September 30 – New President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai signed on Tuesday security deals with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allowing for the significant part of the international military contingent to remain in the Central Asian country after the expiration of the current year.
The security pacts were signed at the presidential palace in Kabul marking the first crucial international decision of Ahmadzai following one day only of his inauguration on Monday.
The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been fighting Taliban militants in the Central Asian state since 2001 and was scheduled to pull out from Afghanistan by the end of this year, passing the responsibility for the security provision in the country to local Afghani military and police forces.
Tuesday’s signing of the military pacts with US and NATO was attended besides Ahmadzai by Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar, US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, NATO’s senior representative in Afghanistan Maurits Jochems and other officials.
“Our country will manage to maintain its sovereignty due to security guarantees, which such step is granting us,” Ahmadzai said during the signing ceremony. “The agreement with the United States and NATO fully corresponds with Afghanistan’s interests.”
According to The Wall Street Journal daily, Afghanistan’s security pacts with the United States and NATO will allow for some 12,000 foreign troops remain in the Central Asian state after 2014 and also provide to further financial aid’s flow to Kabul.
“The agreement is more than a commitment, it is a choice. It is a choice by Afghanistan to consolidate international support,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Ambassador Cunningham as saying on Tuesday. “It is a choice by the United States to continue cooperating with our Afghan partners on two important security missions.”
Sources: The Washington Post – Wall Street Journal – ITAR-TASS – NATO Media Services