Afghan-US Strategic Partnership Agreement Finalized

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2012) Today the draft agreement on Afghanistan and US long term partnership was finalized and initialed by the heads of the two negotiating delegations in Kabul.

Officially concluded on Sunday, the agreement is now ready for signature by both the Presidents.

At a ceremony in the National Security Council, the documentknown as “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States” was initialed as “final” by Afghanistan National Security Advisor Dr. Spanta and US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker.

In a short statement after the exchange of the copies, Dr. Spanta congratulated the two countries on the achievement, which he said took more than one and half years of hard work. “The document finalized today provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world and is a document for the development of the region.”

Pointing to the months-long efforts put into charting out the agreement, Dr. Spanta said the Traditional Loya Jirga took Afghanistan’s consultation process on the document to a historic level.

He also informed that on Monday, Foreign Minister Rasoul was expected to brief the Senate and himself the Lower House on the overall content of the document.

He said the partnership agreement, once signed by the two Presidents, shall be sent to the National Assembly for passing and then to the President for final signature into a legal document for publication in the official gazette.

US Ambassador too delivered a statement in the occasion thanking the two negotiating teams as “superb”. Ambassador Crocker referred to the negotiations as one of the most difficult ones, “I have been involved in many international negotiations, I can say without doubt, I have never encountered a tougher negotiator as you (Afghan team)”,

He said the Agreement cements a long-term strategic partnership between “two equal and sovereign States” affirming the commitment that his country through the strategic partnership document would do its utmost to assist Afghans and the further development Afghanistan as “a unified, democratic, stable and secure state.”