Afghan Jirga Backs Partnership with US

Posted November 19th, 2011 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
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Delegates at a traditional national assembly in Afghanistan have given their conditional support to a long-term strategic partnership with the United States.

Officials say the non-binding partnership would address Afghanistan's security needs and the presence of American forces in the country after 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said earlier this week at the opening of the four-day loya jirga, or grand council, that his country wants its sovereignty and an end to night raids as conditions for the pact with the U.S.

There are more than 130,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led coalition, mostly from the U.S. All international combat troops are due to leave the country by then end of 2014.

Some analysts say government corruption, coupled with incompetence and mismanagement, plagues the reconstruction efforts and contributes to the country's insecurity.