Afghan president favors security agreement with US

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he favors a security agreement with America allowing some of its troops to remain after the end of 2014 but wants unspecified “guarantees.”

Karzai provided no details when he spoke Thursday at a gathering on rural development. But he has said in the past that the United States must commit to boost Afghan security, strengthen its armed forces and provide long-term economic development assistance.

Karzai says the U.S. should pay for the agreement, a reference to a demand for rent to lease up to nine bases in Afghanistan. He didn’t say how much money Afghanistan wants, but it’s thought to be over $6 billion.

The U.S. has said it’s not seeking permanent bases in Afghanistan.

The agreement is expected by year’s end.

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