Afghan house ratifies strategic pact with US
Kabul, May 26 (IANS) Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, Saturday ratified a strategic partnership agreement signed by President Hamid Karzai and his US counterpart Barack Obama.
The agreement signed by the two leaders May 1 in Kabul would allow the US military to stay in Afghanistan after the 2014 deadline, when a majority of 130,000 NATO troops leave the country.
Out of 249 members of the Wolesi Jirga, a total of 183 were present during Saturday's session, and of them 168 MPs approved the agreement. Only six members voted against the pact, Xinhua reported.
"The members of Wolesi Jirga with an overwhelming majority in today's session approved the strategic partnership agreement signed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his US counterpart Barack Obama earlier this month in Kabul," said MP Habiba Danish.
The pact would be sent to the upper house -- or Mushrano Jirga -- for approval and then to the president for final signature into a legal document.
Following reports that said the pact was being viewed by Afghanistan's neighbours as a threat to regional stability, Karzai Friday assured the states that the partnership with the US does not pose any threat.
"There is no threat from Afghanistan soil to our neighbours," Karzai said at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande.
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