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Thursday, June 21, 2012

U.S.-AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS


Photo:  Sec. Of Defense Leon Panetta Meets With Hamid Karzai.  Credit:  Department Of Defense.
FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
U.S. Relations With Afghanistan
Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 19, 2012
On May 2, 2012, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America, a 10-year strategic partnership agreement (SPA) that demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to strengthen Afghanistan’s sovereignty, stability, and prosperity and continue cooperation to defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates. This agreement also signals the U.S. intent to designate Afghanistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally.

The signing of the SPA marks the culmination of over 10 years of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, supporting the elected government, providing development aid, and stabilizing the country. During that time, the core U.S. goal in Afghanistan has been to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates, and to prevent their return to Afghanistan.

At the December 2011 Bonn Conference, the U.S. and other international partners committed to assisting in Afghanistan’s development through 2024. The U.S. continues to support a broad-based government in Afghanistan, representative of all Afghans. Afghan forces have begun taking the lead for security in many areas of the country, and the transition of full security responsibility for Afghanistan from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghan forces will be completed by the end of 2014.

U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan
The U.S. has made a long-term commitment to help Afghanistan rebuild itself after years of war. While the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is transitioning primary security responsibility to Afghan National Security Forces, the United States plans to remain politically, diplomatically, and economically engaged in Afghanistan for the long term. The U.S. and others in the international community currently provide resources and expertise to Afghanistan in a variety of areas, including humanitarian relief and assistance, capacity-building, security needs, counter-narcotic programs, and infrastructure projects.

The United States supports the Afghan Government's goals of focusing on reintegration and reconciliation, economic development, improving relations with Afghanistan’s regional partners, and steadily increasing the security capability of Afghan security forces. The U.S. encourages the Afghan Government to take strong actions to combat corruption and improve governance, and to provide better services for the people of Afghanistan, while maintaining and expanding on the important democratic reforms and advances in women’s rights that have been made since 2001.

Bilateral Economic Relations
Afghanistan has signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States, but a Bilateral Investment Treaty has not been negotiated. There is no Bilateral Taxation Treaty between Afghanistan and the United States.

For 2011, U.S. goods imports from Afghanistan amounted to less than 1% of U.S. goods exports to the country. Efforts are underway to encourage improvements in the business climate to attract foreign trade and investment as well as to stimulate additional trade with the United States through trade capacity development, including through World Trade Organization (WTO) accession.

Afghanistan's Membership in International Organizations
Afghanistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Afghanistan also is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is working toward accession to the WTO.