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US willing to transfer detention centers to Kabul

Kabul, Mon, 05 Mar 2012 ANI

Kabul, Mar 5(ANI): Prospects of the United Sates and Afghanistan having a long-term partnership appear to be receding but Washington has indicated its willingness to transfer its detention centers to Afghan authority within six months.


The proposed timeline could be a substantial concession from an American negotiation position that had earlier put off a transfer to the indefinite future and added that it depended on the success of training an Afghan guard force capable of running the complex American detention facilities.


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly said he wants all detainees to be under Afghan control.


The strategic partnership talks are being aimed at securing Washington's commitment to continue aid and support to Kabul for atleast a decade.


It was expected that it would be followed by a status-of-forces agreement that would define a potential long-term troop presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal deadline.


But the US has raised the possibility that there being no partnership agreement.


"We have always said it is more important to get the right agreement than to get an agreement," the New York Times quoted American Embassy spokesman in Kabul Gavin Sundwall, as saying.


Afghan government spokesperson Aimal Faizi declined to reveal whether the talks had been suspended.


He, however, said Obama and Karzai would discuss the agreement, including the six-month transfer timeline, which he characterized as an offer that had not been formalized.


The transfer of detention centers under Afghan control is fraught with difficulties, and poses serious security risks, both for the Afghan Government and American troops.


Many of the estimated 3,200 people being detained cannot be tried under Afghan law because the evidence does not meet the legal standards required to be admitted in Afghan courts.


The US possesses a major interrogation and intelligence operation at the detention facility in Parwan, north of Kabul, and any agreement would have to outline a gradual transition of that capability.


The US is obliged under international law not to hand over detainees to a country that uses hardship or torture. Afghanistan's record in intelligence detention centers is not particularly strong, with detainees complaining of beatings and electric shocks, according to a United Nations report. (ANI)


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