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U.S. says night raids deal with Afghans moves partnership talks

04-10-2012 10:12 BJT

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. officials on Monday said a deal signed with Afghanistan on night raids allows the negotiation on strategic partnership agreement to move forward.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the deal signed Sunday allows the U.S. side to go forward to transition to Afghan-led security arrangement in that country.

"This is an issue of particular interest and concern on the part of the Afghans," said Carney, referring to the night raids operation conducted by the U.S. and NATO forces. U.S. officials insist those raids have been highly effective in combating the Taliban, but they were hugely unpopular among Afghans.

Carney said the deal would ensure that Afghan forces have the lead in night raids, "it would also allow us to move forward on the strategic partnership declaration, and allow us to move forward on the overall strategy in place, which includes drawing down of U.S. forces as we transition to Afghan security lead."

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, and Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak in the Afghan capital of Kabul Sunday.

According to Pentagon Spokesman George Little, the agreement specifies that special operations will be approved by the Afghan Operational Coordination Group. The operations will be conducted by Afghan forces "with support from U.S. forces in accordance with Afghan laws."

The Afghan coordination group will review and approve all special operations missions. The group will participate in intelligence fusion, monitor mission execution and make notifications to provincial governors. The Afghan security forces will establish regional operational coordination groups.

A bilateral committee co-chaired by Wardak and Allen will ensure coordination between Afghan and U.S. forces.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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