Afghan assembly to decide next month on future role of US troops

Reuters , Saturday 19 Oct 2013

A draft bilateral security accord between US and Afghanistan will be presented to an assembly of some 3,000 tribal elders next month; some clauses are expected to be contentious among Afghan leaders

The future role of US troops in Afghanistan after 2014, to be set down in a bilateral accord, will be put to an assembly of some 3,000 tribal elders and other prominent people next month, organisers of the meeting said on Saturday.

Organisers of the meeting, known as the Loya Jirga, said it would take place around Nov. 19-21. President Hamid Karzai last week said only the assembly had the authority to decide on the agreement.

Most combat troops are to be withdrawn from the country next year. The draft bilateral accord contains provisions believed to be contentious to Kabul. These include a US demand to retain legal jurisdiction over its troops who stay on in Afghanistan, which would give them immunity from Afghan law.

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