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US declares Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally

July 7, 2012 - Kabul

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the United States has designated Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally. Afghanistan will now receive special privileges from the US. The United States is also planning to pull its troops out of the country in 2014. The non-NATO ally status sends a strong message to the people of Afghanistan that US will not abandon them as they are recovering after 30 years of war.

During a brief visit to Kabul, Hillary Clinton has met with President Hamid Karzai. Addressing a press conference, she said that US will assist Afghanistan in providing a long-term framework for security and defence. Clinton said that the new relationship with Afghanistan will come into immediate effect, adding that US is not abandoning Afghanistan.

The designation of Afghanistan as a special non-NATO ally is the first in President Obama's administration. Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Jordan Korea, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand are the other countries which enjoy similar benefits from the US. The NATO currently has 130,000 soldiers helping Afghanistan in fighting the insurgency by Taliban militants. The NATO has previously endorsed plans to pull out the troops by mid-2013. The economy of the country is still weak.

President Barack Obama promised Afghanistan at the NATO summit in Chicago in May that the international community will not abandon the war-stricken country after the foreign combat mission in 2014.

Andhra News

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