Karzai: US can establish military bases

Karzai: US can establish military bases

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the United States can establish military bases in Afghanistan after the two sides sign US-Afghan bilateral security agreement, Press TV reported.

Karzai made the demand during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.

The Afghan president said the agreement could be reached on condition that the US ensures lasting peace in the country.

"They discussed the joint progress on the bilateral security agreement, border issues and the status of the ongoing peace process," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"Kerry also affirmed that he and President Karzai remain committed to the same strategy and the same goal of a stable, sovereign Afghanistan, responsible for its own security and able to ensure that it can never again be a safe haven for terrorists," she added.

Meanwhile, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said Washington has confirmed its demands for establishing nine permanent bases in Afghanistan.

Faizi added that US officials have sent an email confirming the plan.

American officials previously denied that they had demanded that Kabul creates the bases, but have now admitted that their initial denial was mistaken.

Afghan officials say Washington has even picked some cities for its bases during its latest talks with Kabul.

The United States and its allies entered the war in Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but after more than 11 years, the foreign troops have still not been able to establish security in the country.

The foreign troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. However, there are still more than 100,000 US-led troops (67,000 US troops and 37,000 coalition forces) in the country.

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