Hamid Karzai
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Karzai Says NATO Night Raids in Afghanistan Must Stop

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday Afghanistan will not sign a strategic partnership deal with the U.S. until NATO-led night raids and house searches stop.

The president's remarks came after he heard back from a government-appointed delegation assigned to look into civilian casualties sustained during recent NATO airstrikes and night time raids.

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Karzai Says Afghans Negotiating Long-Term U.S. Presence

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that his government is negotiating the terms of a long-term U.S. presence in his country that could involve U.S. troops.

The United States is withdrawing 10,000 troops this year, leaving 91,000 on the ground into next year. Another 23,000 are due to leave by the end of September.

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Report: Australia to Speed up Afghan Withdrawal

Australia will dramatically cut the number of soldiers it has serving in Afghanistan over the next year, bringing forward to 2013 the bulk of its pullout from the war-torn nation, a report said Monday.

The Sydney Morning Herald said sources had revealed that the defense department was working on a plan to drastically lower the number of troops mentoring Afghan soldiers in restive Uruzgan province by 2013.

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Karzai Back in Kabul to Meet Shrine Bomb Victims

Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived back in Kabul on Wednesday after cancelling a planned trip to Britain to visit victims of a bombing which killed 55 people, his spokesman said.

Karzai summoned his security chiefs for an emergency meeting early Wednesday to brief him about Tuesday's suicide attack near a Shiite shrine in Kabul on Shiite Muslims' holiest day of Ashura, Aimal Faizi told Agence France Presse.

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Report: Karzai Will Try to Hold On to Power Beyond 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to try to stay in power after 2014, the end of his second and final mandate under the constitution, German daily Bild reported Monday citing an intelligence report.

As a major international conference got under way in Bonn on the future of Afghanistan after NATO-led combat troops withdraw in 2014, Bild said Karzai was working on a "new organization of the Afghan central government", according to a special report by Germany's BND foreign intelligence service.

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Karzai Accuses Pakistan of Stalling Talks with Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused Pakistan, which is boycotting an international conference on Afghanistan starting Monday in Bonn, of sabotaging all negotiations with the Taliban.

"Up until now, they have sadly refused to back efforts for negotiations with the Taliban," Karzai told Der Spiegel weekly in comments reported in German and due to be published on Monday.

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ISAF to Retrain Troops on Civilian Casualties

NATO's U.S.-led force in Afghanistan will re-train its troops by December 5 on how to avoid civilian casualties, following fresh accusations of civilian killings, President Hamid Karzai's office said Tuesday.

The move comes with NATO already facing uncomfortable fallout after an air strike killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border on Saturday.

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Karzai Announces 2nd Wave of Afghanistan Transition

More than half of Afghanistan will soon be under the control of local forces after President Hamid Karzai Sunday announced the second wave of a process which should see all NATO combat forces leave by 2014.

Karzai's office said that six provinces, seven cities and dozens of districts -- including three in Helmand, among Afghanistan's most dangerous areas -- will pass from foreign to local control.

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Hundreds of Afghans Protest Long-term Pact with U.S.

More than 1,000 university students blocked a main highway in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday as they protested against any agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after a planned transfer of authority in 2014.

An assembly of more than 2,000 tribal elders and dignitaries known as a loya jirga endorsed the idea of such agreement in a conference that ended Saturday, though they also backed a series of conditions proposed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai including the end of night raids by international troops and complete Afghan control over detainees.

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McChrystal on Return Visit to Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. former commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan who left his post last year, visited President Hamid Karzai Saturday on a personal trip, officials said.

McChrystal was recalled by President Barack Obama from his role leading NATO troops in the war against the Taliban over comments made by him and his aides about senior political leaders to Rolling Stone magazine.

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