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Karzai Says Accord With Iran To Be Signed Soon

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (file photo)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Kabul and Tehran will soon sign a "long-term partnership" pact that focuses on political, economic, and security cooperation.

A statement predicting approval of the bilateral accord was issued by Karzai’s office on December 8 after Karzai met in Tehran with Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

The statement says Karzai and Rohani both stressed the need for an agreement that guarantees long-term "friendship and partnership."

It did not give further details.

Karzai's Tehran visit came as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was on a two-day visit to Afghanistan.

There has been disagreement between Kabul and Washington over a bilateral security agreement (BSA) needed for some U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan after 2014.

Karzai initially endorsed that accord but has since refused to promptly sign it.

Iran says the BSA agreement with the United States would destabilize the region.

With reporting by dpa, IRNA, and ISNA