Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s new president, signalled a new era of cooperation with America and the West on Tuesday as he signed deals to allow Nato troops to stay in the country next year.
The agreements will allow about 12,000 troops to stay on and support Afghan forces after the majority of Nato’s combat contingent withdraws in December. Hanif Atmar, the national security adviser, and James Cunningham, the US ambassador, signed a bilateral security agreement in a televised ceremony at the presidential palace, a day after Mr Ghani was inaugurated. Minutes later a separate Nato deal was signed.
“As an independent country … we signed this agreement for stability, goodwill, and the prosperity of our people, stability of the region and the world,” Mr Ghani said, fulfilling his campaign vow to have the deal signed on his first full day in office.