Afghanistan signed a long-delayed security pact so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with United States of America and NATO at Kabul’s presidential palace on Tuesday. The agreement allows 9,800 American and about 2,000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan after the international combat mission ends on December 31. It allows America’s Special Operation Forces to conduct counterterrorism missions in the country. The pact was signed by American Ambassador James Cunningham and Afghan national security advisor Hanif Atmar, then Atmar went ahead to sign the similar the document with NATO’s civilian representative to the country.

President Ashraf Ghani was pleased with the pact and said, “the pact gives the Afghan government the sole power to use the forces. However, agreement does not allow use or deployment of nuclear weapons in Afghanistan.” On this day, Afghanistan has obtained its complete national sovereignty because until now the right to use military force in our homeland was authorized by the United Nations Security Council [resolution],” he said. President Ghani also assured the neighboring nations, saying they should not feel threatened because of the newly signed security pact.

Ambassador Cunningham said that the BSA was the choice of Afghanistan.”It is a choice by Afghanistan to consolidate international support as the Afghan people work for a more secure and prosperous future,” Cunningham said. “It is a choice by the United States to continue cooperating with our Afghan partners on two important security missions: training and equipping Afghan forces and supporting cooperation against terrorism.”

Afghanistan’s ambassador Janan Mosazai said that the newly signed security agreements will deepen already strong ties between United States and the global partners.

“This is a significant day, it was a significant event. We have had a long-term strategic relationship with the United States and also with NATO and these two agreements will further entrench those strategic partnerships. They will allow for a follow-on presence of support missions both by the United States and also by NATO in terms of continued funding of the Afghan National Security Forces but also in terms of continuing the training, advice and other support to our national security forces.”

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