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Afghanistan To Formalize Foreign Troop Presence

Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan

Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan

* This article has been corrected since its original posting.

KABUL -- The Afghan government is working on a bill that would formalize foreign-troop operations in the country, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

The move comes amid an increase in the number of civilian casualties in air strikes by foreign troops, actions that have increased domestic pressure against Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his government.

The document must also be approved by the National Assembly.

It is not known when the bill will be ready.

The new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, says U.S.-led troops are in Afghanistan at the "request of and the consent of the government of Afghanistan."

Eikenberry added that there must be better and more effective cooperation between both sides in order to avoid civilian casualties.

* Original version suggested Eikenberry was still Washington's ambassador-designate, when in fact he presented his credentials in Kabul earlier in the month.