The US and Afghanistan have finalized the draft of a mutual security pact indicating that US troops could remain in the country until 2024. Afghan politicians will meet in two days to vote on the new agreement.
While the 25-page “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” is still unsigned, the deal displays a willingness of the US to retain their military outposts for many years, potentially until 2024, while continuing to pay support to Afghan security forces.
“The Parties acknowledge that continued US military operations to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate and agree to continue their close cooperation and coordination toward that end,” stated the document, which was released for public viewing by NBC News.
Paragraph 4 states that “This Agreement may be terminated by mutual written agreement or by either Party upon two years’ written notice.”
On Monday, Reuters reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected a provision granting the United States authority to unilaterally carry out military operations within the country, including the search of civilian homes.
The document appears to have adhered to his wishes, stating that: “No detention or arrest shall be carried out by the United States forces. The United States forces shall not search any homes or other real estate properties.”
The US President is to write a letter to the people of Afghanistan recognizing mistakes made during the “war on terror,” according to President Karzai’s spokesperson cited by Reuters on Tuesday.
Later this week, thousands of Afghan political and tribal leaders will congregate to decide whether to allow US troops to remain in the country following the 2014 withdrawal of foreign forges.
The five-day long negotiations are to begin on Thursday.