Kabul, 29 Jumadil Akhir 1434/9 May 2013 (MINA) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Thursday (9/5) that Washington has demanded to keep nine military bases across war-torn Afghanistan.

       During a speech at Kabul University, Karzai said that the US wants to have military bases in Kabul, Bagram, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalalabad, Gardez, Kandahar, Helmand, Shindand and Herat provinces of Afhganistan, Khaama Press reports.

       “We are in very serious and delicate negotiations with America,” the Afghan president said. Karzai added that Afghanistan also had its demands and interests in the negotiations.

       “Our conditions are that the US intensify efforts in the peace process, strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces, provide concrete support to the economy – power, roads and dams – and provide assistance in governance.”

       The Afghan president said that Afghanistan would be ready to sign a security pact if such conditions were met, the Press TV quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

       “When they (the U.S.) do this, we are ready to sign,” he said.

       On May 4, after signing a bilateral security agreement, Karzai announced his decision to allow US forces to remain inside Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

       On May 2, 2012, Washington and Kabul signed a deal that authorized the presence of US troops for a period of 10 years after 2014, which was the original date agreed earlier for the departure of all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s parliament approved the pact on May 26.

       Karzai had confirmed for the first time in 2011 that the administration of US President Barack Obama had demanded the establishment of a system of permanent US military bases across Afghanistan.

       The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops. (T/P09/E1).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

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