Kerry and Karzai reach partial Afghan security deal

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from FoxNews,

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that a partial agreement was reached with Afghanistan on a security accord after talks with President Hamid Karzai, however the issue of jurisdiction for American forces still remains unresolved.

Kerry spoke with President Karzai after a marathon series of meetings and repeated delays of his departure from Afghanistan. Both men said agreement had been reached on a series of contentious sovereignty issues and the safety of Afghan citizens at the hands of American and allied troops that had deadlocked talks in the past year.

“We have put ourselves in a position for an enduring partnership going forward in the years ahead, providing that the political process of Afghanistan accepts that.” Kerry said Saturday. “We respect completely the President’s need, the President’s right, the Afghan people’s need to approve of whatever agreement might come forward.”

But Karzai said he would punt the issue of who has jurisdiction for any crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014 to a national consultative assembly of tribal elders, or Loya Jirga, that he has asked to be convened within a month. Their opinion on whether to approve or disapprove an American demand that its forces be remanded to U.S. military courts would then be sent to the Afghan parliament.

“We have reached an agreement on the respect of national sovereignty, preventing civilian casualties, a definition for aggression and also the prevention of unilateral acts by foreign forces. We reached an agreement on that, but the issue of jurisdiction for foreign forces is above the authority of the Afghan government and that is up to the Afghan people and the Loya Jirga,” Karzai said, noting that national sovereignty was the most important issue that he had pushed for.

Kerry noted that if the jurisdiction issue was not resolved there would be no agreement.

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