Afghan parliament approves U.S.-Afghan security pact

KABUL Sat May 26, 2012 5:56am EDT

1 of 2. Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, Task Force Bulldog look at a Taliban position after they attacked the Combat Outpost (COP) Boston in Kherwar district in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan, May 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

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KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's parliament approved on Saturday a strategic pact between Kabul and Washington, clearing the way for a U.S. presence in the country for at least a decade after most foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

"This was done for the interest of Afghanistan," said Daoud Kalakani, an MP from Kabul. Around 180 MPs were present and only four voted against, Kalakani said.

The deal, signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai in Kabul on May 2, sets out a long-term U.S. role in Afghanistan, including aid and advisers.

Most of the contentious parts of the pact, which could have seen the obstructive parliament reject the deal, had earlier been removed and dealt with separately, including giving Afghans control of controversial night raids on homes and prisons used to detain insurgents.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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