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US-Afghanistan deal in danger as Karzai holds firm on demands
 
 
 

Hopes that the US can fix conditions for a long-term military presence in Afghanistan before an unofficial May deadline are fading because Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, is not prepared to compromise on two demands that have stalled negotiations for months. Washington and its allies want to have the US-Afghan strategic partnership agreed before May, when a Nato conference in Chicago is expected to pledge long-term help to Kabul with finances and military training. But negotiations have dragged on for over a year and Karzai is adamant he will not give ground on his two main demands – for Afghan control of jails and an end to night-time raids on Afghan homes. Western officials say the first is not practical and the second would compromise the military effort. "If they don't change their position there will be no strategic partnership before Chicago," said a senior Afghan official familiar with the negotiations. "We are not willing to compromise when it comes to sovereignty."

 
 
 
 
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