Clinton: Afghanistan is a "major non-NATO ally" of the US
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called Afghanistan a "major non-NATO ally," a status which allows it close defence cooperation with the United States, DPA reported.
"We see this as powerful symbol of our commitment to Afghanistan's future," Clinton told reporters at a joint news conference in Kabul alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"There are a number of benefits that accrue to countries that have this designation." she said. "They are able to have access to defence supplies, for example. They can take part in certain kinds of training and capacity-building."
Clinton was on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, a day ahead of a major donor conference on civilian aid in Tokyo.
The designation is part of an agreement between the two countries announced in May. Afghanistan is the 15th country that the US has declared a non-NATO ally, others include Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan and Pakistan.