(KABUL, Afghanistan) — After months of bad news, something has finally gone right for the U.S. in Afghanistan.
American Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta announced Sunday that their two governments had come to an agreement on a strategic partnership deal that sets up the U.S. role during and after the military withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for 2014.
Spanta said the pact that he claims took more than a year of work, “provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world and is a document for the development of the region.”
Two issues decided before the agreement was finalized were turning over U.S.-run prisons to Afghan control and allowing national forces to take the lead on nighttime raids.
Meanwhile, Washington and Kabul are punting for now on the questions of long-term U.S. access to military bases and the status of any American forces that remain in the country when most troops have left, figuring they’ll have time over the next few years to iron out any differences.
The deal also doesn’t include Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s demand for $2 billion a year in funding from the U.S.
It’s expected the strategic partnership deal will be signed, sealed and delivered before a NATO summit scheduled next month in Chicago that will be attended by both President Obama and Karzai.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN