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Karzai To Call Loya Jirga Over Security Pact

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says any security pact with the United States must preserve the national interests of Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will convene a Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of elders, to discuss a security agreement with the United States.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on October 7, Karzai said his government will abide by the decision of the assembly.

He said Afghans want a security deal that will enable U.S. forces to stay in the country after the withdrawal of international troops next year. But he added that the deal "must preserve the national interests of Afghanistan."

Karzai said disagreements over Afghanistan's sovereignty and other issues were still hampering the deal. He said Kabul wants security guarantees "from the threats of the Taliban and terrorists and the bombardment by the United States."

Washington and Kabul have been discussing the agreement since November 2012.

With reporting by AP