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Afghan Jirga Ends With Reported Agreement On US Presence, Peace Talks

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

A grand assembly convened by Afghanistan's president has concluded in Kabul with general agreement on a government plan for a continued -- but not permanent -- US military presence in Afghanistan as well as a strategy for peace.

The gathering, known as a Loya Jirga, brought together around 2,000 tribal elders and other community leaders to promote national consensus around President Hamid Karzai's preferred approach to both issues.

In his closing speech, Karzai described the jirga's conclusions as "comprehensive and acceptable."

Its conclusions are not legally binding, but are likely to boost Karzai's bargaining position on two particularly contentious issues.

After four days and with organizers suggesting the event might extend another day, a majority of delegates were said to have backed a US troop presence beyond 2014, when most international forces are scheduled to leave or remain only in a support role.

To read the full story

written by Andy Heil based on RFE/RL and agency reports

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Afghan Jirga Ends With Reported Agreement On US Presence, Peace Talks

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