US, Afghanistan in Partnership Deal

April 22, 2012 Updated: April 23, 2012

The United States and Afghanistan on Sunday reached an agreement on a strategic partnership after most of NATO’s combat troops leave the country in 2014.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, told The Associated Press that “after much hard work together, we are pleased that we are close to completing negotiations on [the] Strategic Partnership.”

“Our goal is an enduring partnership with Afghanistan that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability, and prosperity, and that contributes to our shared goal of defeating al-Qaeda and its extremist affiliates. We believe this agreement supports that goal,” he told the news agency.

U.S. and other combat troops are slated to end operations in Afghanistan after 2014, with some countries having proposed an earlier pullout.

More than a week ago, Afghanistan said it took over the task of carrying out controversial night raids against insurgents, which was one of the preconditions of the agreement.