US reaffirms respect for Afghan sovereignty

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

The United States on Tuesday reaffirmed its abiding respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, saying the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would help consolidate their partnership.

Speaking at the BSA signing ceremony in Kabul, Ambassador James B. Cunningham said they were eager to work with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah and a new Afghan government.

“Our relationship with Afghanistan is based on deep and abiding respect for the sovereignty of Afghanistan and for the Afghan people,” he told participants of the event at the Presidential Palace.

Loya Jirga’s unanimous endorsement of the deal had made clear that the people of Afghanistan placed a great stake in an enduring partnership with the US, he noted, calling people’s support a powerful message.

The agreement was Afghanistan’s choice to consolidate international support as the people worked for a more secure and prosperous future, the diplomat said. “It is a choice by the US to continue cooperating with our Afghan partners…”

Cunningham said the two sides would continue to cooperate in training and equipping Afghan forces and fighting terrorism. The agreement opens the way for continued efforts to promote development in health, education, communications, women’s issues, justice, and economic growth.

“Our two countries have made great progress in the pursuit of stability and security for Afghanistan. Afghan forces have demonstrated their resolve and capability in providing security for the people,” the ambassador continued.

The pact would enable the US to help the ANSF build on this progress after the ISAF mission comes to a close, and a new NATOmission begins.

“Our close defense and security cooperation will provide the foundation for Afghanistan to continue its impressive development and to build on the achievements of the past. Our Agreement will also contribute to stability not only in Afghanistan, but throughout the region,” he remarked.

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