A long-delayed security agreement is signed to allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan past the end of the year. Jillian Kitchener reports.
A highly anticipated security agreement is signed to allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan past the end of the year. Guests at the presidential palace witnessed Afghan national security adviser Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham put pen to paper. ...Extending a partnership, and filling a campaign promise by newly inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) AFGHAN PRESIDENT, ASHRAF GHANI; SAYING: "As an independent country and understanding of our national interests, we signed this agreement for stability, goodwill and prosperity of our people, stability of the region and the world." Twelve-thousand foreign military personnel are now expected to keep their boots on Afghan soil past 2014. That's when the combat mission of Afghanistan's U.S.-led NATO force is slated to end. U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN, JAMES CUNNINGHAM, SAYING: "Our close defence and security cooperation will provide the foundation for Afghanistan to continue its impressive development and to build on the achievements of the past." Foreign forces have been providing security since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001. And with this latest security pact, the U.S. promises to train and equip Afghan security forces... boosting their defense against the Taliban and its radical Islamist allies.