Ghani welcomes approval of vital security deals

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Friday welcomed the approval of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and a Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with NATO by the Meshrano Jirga.
In a statement from the Presidential Palace, Ghani hoped that the endorsement of the security deals by the upper house would help strengthen the country’s security.
Of 72 senators present during Monday’s session, 70 voted in favour of the accords while only seven lawmakers voted in opposition.
Currently in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, the president said the approval of the deals would strengthen national security.
The lower house endorsed the security deals on Sunday by a majority vote, but five MPs staged a walkout in protest against the approval. On Sept 30, the new government inked the BSA and SOFA allowing a residual force of nearly 10,000 international troops to stay on in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The staying troops would train and advice Afghan security forces and American troops would also take part in counterinsurgency operations besides providing air support to Afghan operations when needed.
rm/mud

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