No Security Pact Without Complete Prison Handover, Karzai Tells Obama

News - Afghanistan


President Hamid Karzai has told US President Barack Obama in a letter that until the matter of the Bagram prison is settled, Afghanistan will not sign the security agreement with the US.

Karzai asked Obama to ensure that the US finalises the handover of all prisons and prisoners to the Afghan government, according to a statement from the Presidential Office.

"If it does not happen, Afghanistan will not sign the security agreement with US," it said.

Karzai recently ordered Afghan forces to take control of the American-built Bagram prison and accused American officials of violating the agreement to fully transfer the facility to the Afghans.

The order came after what Karzai said was the expiration of a two-month grace period, agreed to by President Obama in September, to complete the transfer of the prison at Bagram Air Base.

The Afghan government has repeatedly said that any failure to hand over the remaining 600 prisoners that were not transferred in September is a violation of Afghanistan's sovereignty.

Tensions over detainee transfers have been on high since the agreement to handover prisoners was signed in March with a six-month deadline.

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