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Afghan President Sets Conditions to Sign Deal with Washington

Kabul, November 26 (RHC)-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has set conditions to sign a security pact with the United States despite approval from members of the grand assembly, Loya Jirga. In his remarks in the capital Kabul, Karzai said the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would only go ahead under certain conditions.

The Afghan president said that "America should bring us peace and we will eagerly accept this agreement." Karzai also noted that "if the U.S. goes into Afghan homes one more time, there will be no agreement." He added that a free and fair vote is needed to guarantee peace in Afghanistan and therefore Washington should not meddle in the country’s presidential elections due to be held in April 2014.

Meanwhile, the U.S. praised the Jirgra’s decision and called on Karzai to sign the pact. A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Kabul said the U.S. officials "continue to believe that concluding the agreement as quickly as possible will benefit both nations."

The security deal with the Washington allows U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 while it also grants legal immunity. The U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of many U.S.-led troops.

Washington also carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Afghanistan, which it says targets al-Qaeda militants. However, local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks over the past few years.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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