US: Afghanistan Now Major Non-NATO Ally

Posted July 7th, 2012 at 12:00 am (UTC-5)
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The Obama administration has declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally of the United States.

The status is meant to facilitate close defense cooperation between the U.S. and the South Asian nation.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement to diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Kabul during her previously unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

Clinton landed in Kabul early Saturday on her way to the Afghan donor conference in Japan that begins Sunday.

She meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace where they are also expected to discuss civilian ties and stalled Afghan reconciliation efforts.