Karzai: US-Afghan Strategic Deal Makes Progress
March 06, 2012
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says there has been some progress on a deal that would outline the U.S. role in Afghanistan after international combat troops leave the country in 2014.
Afghan officials had earlier said that discussions on a long-term U.S.-Afghan strategic agreement had stalled due to disputes over the transfer of American-run detention centers and night raids conducted by U.S. and NATO forces.
President Karzai told reporters Tuesday he hoped both countries could reach a "positive result" for the benefit of Afghanistan. He said "there has been an improvement in our talks with the United States with regard to our strategic partnership."
The Afghan leader spoke during a news conference in Kabul following talks with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Mr. Komorowski assured President Karzai that Poland's support for Afghanistan would continue even after all of the country's more than 2,000 troops leave Afghanistan in 2014. The Polish president said "the Polish and Afghan friendship that was forged under very difficult conditions will definitely last longer than the presence of the last Polish soldier on the Afghan soil."
Also Tuesday, President Karzai backed a "code of conduct" issued last week by a group of clerics in Afghanistan. The document issued by the Ulema Council allows husbands to beat their wives under certain circumstances and encourages segregation of the sexes.
Mr. Karzai told reporters at the press conference in Kabul that the code of conduct is in line with Islamic law and written in consultation with Afghan women's groups. He added that the document did not put limitations on women and was simply "the Sharia (Islamic) law of all Muslims and all Afghans."
His comments come as a new report released by the the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization finds that women's rights are increasingly under threat as international troops prepare to leave the country.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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