Tuesday, November 19, 2013

US and Afghanistan wrangle with deal to keep troops in place after 2014 --- The US and Afghanistan are close to reaching a draft security agreement that would allow American forces to stay in the country past 2014, Afghan officials have claimed. The deal is critical to Afghanistan's hopes of stability after western combat troops leave next year. -- However any deal would need to include a public apology for past mistakes by American forces from the US government, the Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said on Tuesday, prompting a flat denial from Barack Obama's top national security aide that any such concession was on the table. An apology would almost certainly be politically controversial in Washington. -- Faizi said an apology was part of the negotiations and “would acknowledge the suffering of the Afghan people, recognise mistakes in the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan, and guarantee that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated”. -- “I am not going to comment on letter that hasn't been written,” said the White House spokesman, Jay Carney. “This issue has always been one that is subject of conversations with the Afghans, and the general issue of Afghan casualties has always been one of concern to the US military, which takes enormous care to avoid civilian casualties.” - More, Guardian


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