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                                        Volume. 11866

Karzai to visit Iran next week
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TEHRAN – Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to visit Iran next week to hold meeting with the Iranian president and other high ranking officials, an Iranian deputy foreign minister has said.
 
Ebrahim Rahimpour also commented on a security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States, saying this agreement would harm the long term interests of the Afghan nation and government.  
 
On October 12, Washington and Kabul agreed on a draft security deal that would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014.
 
According to the terms of the proposed accord, the United States will be able to maintain up to nine military bases, along with 8,000-12,000 troops (and a smaller contingent of European and other forces), through 2024.
 
In a series of public statements, Karzai has insisted that he may wait until next year to decide on the matter, even though the U.S. administration is pressing him to sign the security agreement by the end of year. If he does not, administration officials say, they will begin preparations for withdrawing all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of next year, according to the Washington Post. 
 
 
MT/PA 
 
 

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