Hamid Karzai
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Key Afghan Meeting Backs Deal with U.S.

Afghan elders Saturday endorsed a long-term strategic partnership deal with the United States while insisting on a string of binding conditions.

Their declaration came at the end of a four-day loya jirga or traditional meeting which also supported holding talks with members of the Taliban who renounce violence, despite the murder of peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani.

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Rocket Hits Near Afghan Loya Jirga Meeting, 1 Hurt

Insurgents on Thursday fired a rocket near the venue of a major meeting in the Afghan capital Kabul discussing the controversial presence of U.S. troops after NATO combat forces leave in 2014.

The strike, which was claimed by the Taliban, injured one person but highlighted lingering security fears at the four-day loya jirga event which brings together around 2,000 elders from around the warring country.

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Karzai Outlines Conditions for U.S. Bases in Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday outlined a string of conditions for long-term U.S. bases in Afghanistan at a major gathering of elders debating the country's future and peace efforts with the Taliban.

Karzai told day one of the loya jirga that he wanted Afghan-U.S. relations to be those of "two independent countries" and assured neighbors such as China and Russia that a long-term deal would not affect their ties with Afghanistan.

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'Suicide Bomber' Shot Dead near Afghan Jirga Site

A suspected suicide bomber carrying a bag of explosives was shot dead in Afghanistan on Monday near the site of a major elders' meeting set to discuss relations with the U.S., officials said.

The man was gunned down in Kabul hours after the Taliban claimed to have published a top-secret security plan for the loya jirga, which starts Wednesday and will bring together over 2,000 elders from around the country.

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Australian PM Meets Karzai in Afghanistan

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has visited Afghanistan, her office said Monday, days after three of her nation's troops were shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier who fired on a parade.

Gillard made the unannounced stopover in the war-torn Central Asian nation, where she met President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, on her way back from the G20 leaders' meeting in Cannes, France.

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Global Conference on Afghanistan Future Opens in Istanbul

A global conference aimed at mapping out the future of war-torn Afghanistan after Western troops depart opened in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Representatives from 20 countries joined aid agency members at the Istanbul talks almost 10 years after the Taliban were driven out of power in Kabul.

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At Least 17 Dead in Attack on U.S. Convoy in Kabul

A Taliban car bomber struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least 17 people, including 13 Americans, in one of the deadliest attacks to hit foreign forces in more than a decade of war.

The attacker blew up his Toyota sedan next to a U.S.-run military bus travelling through the southwest of Kabul next to the Dar-ul-Aman palace ruins at 11:20 am (06:50 GMT), in the latest in a spate of high-profile attacks.

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Karzai: Kabul would Back Pakistan if Attacked by U.S.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that his country would support Pakistan if it was attacked by either the United States or India.

"If America, India or anyone else attacked Pakistan, we will stand by Pakistan," Karzai said in an interview aired by Pakistan private television channel Geo late Saturday.

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Karzai Urges Talks with Haqqani Network in Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday called for peace talks with the Haqqani network in Pakistan as he sought to assuage domestic fears over Afghanistan's future partnership with the United States.

Following a recent visit to the region by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Karzai reiterated conditions for the U.S. strategic agreement due to be worked out next month, insisting that U.S. forces must stop raiding Afghan homes.

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Clinton Says 'Major Military Operation' Ongoing against Haqqanis

A major offensive is under way against Haqqani militants in eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan must act to remove safe havens on its side of the border, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

"We are taking action against the Haqqanis. There was a major military operation inside Afghanistan in recent days," she told a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

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