Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will not negotiate his terms for a strategic partnership with the United States that will lay out the long-term U.S. role in Afghanistan.
Karzai said Tuesday that the U.S. must accept all of his conditions for a strategic partnership agreement, including an end to night raids and other military operations by American forces that could cause civilian casualties.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks to military personnel at the presidential palace in Kabul, July 26, 2011 (Reuters).
Addressing a gathering in Kabul, the Afghan leader also called on Afghan forces to rise to the challenge of taking control of security from international troops. President Karzai said Afghan forces will soon be able to protect their own country.
Some 33,000 American forces are set to leave Afghanistan by September of 2012. Last week, the first seven areas of Afghanistan were transitioned from NATO control to Afghan forces. Most foreign combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Violence has increased as Afghans begin taking security control from U.S. and NATO-led forces.
On Tuesday, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security said Afghan forces had foiled a plot to attack Kabul International Airport. NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said insurgents had accumulated weapons near Kabul in order to attack the airport. Detained militants told security officials about the plot.
In southern Afghanistan, provincial officials say at least 22 insurgents and two police officers were killed in two separate clashes in Helmand province on Monday.
Elsewhere in Helmand, authorities say a roadside bomb killed two children on Monday.
In the north, NATO says four insurgents were killed Monday during separate operations in Jowzjan province. Five other insurgents were killed in a joint operation targeting a Taliban leader in the eastern province of Laghman on Monday.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.