(( Title: AFGHANISTAN – US
HEAD: Karzai: US Troop Immunity Up to Afghan Elders
PUBLISHED AT: Monday, January 14, 2013 5:41:11 AM
Afghanistan's president says a meeting of the nation's elders should be called to decide whether U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan after 2014 should be granted immunity from prosecution under Afghan law.
Hamid Karzai said Monday in Kabul the immunity issue needs to be decided by the Afghan people, not the Afghan government.
The Afghan leader said a loya jirga – a national assembly of elders – needs to be convened to make a decision on U.S. troop immunity.
Mr. Karzai met with U.S. President Barack Obama last week at the White House. Mr. Obama warned that no American troops would remain behind in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014 unless they were granted immunity from prosecution in local courts.
Mr. Karzai said Monday reaching an immunity agreement will take eight to nine months.