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Karzai Says Kabul Moving Closer To Strategic Partnership Deal With U.S.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he is nearly ready to sign a general Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States.

However, Karzai noted that provisions for U.S military bases in Afghanistan are not part of the document he hopes to sign ahead of a May NATO summit in Chicago.

Last week, Afghanistan's defense minister and the top U.S commander in Afghanistan signed an agreement transferring control of U.S detention centers in Afghanistan to Afghan authorities within six months.

Karzai said on March 11 that Kabul's demand for an end to night raids is the last issue that needs to be resolved for a general agreement to be signed.

Karzai said another year of talks are needed to define usage of Afghan military facilities by the United States and the role of U.S. trainers after a planned 2014 withdrawal.