Entries in Agreement (4)


US, Afghanistan Agree on Basics of Post-War Deal

The White House/Pete Souza(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- After months of bad news, something has finally gone right for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

American Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta announced Sunday that their two governments had come to an agreement on a strategic partnership deal that sets up the U.S. role during and after the military withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for 2014.

Spanta said the pact that he claims took more than a year of work, "provides a strong foundation for the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world and is a document for the development of the region."

Two issues decided before the agreement was finalized were turning over U.S.-run prisons to Afghan control and allowing national forces to take the lead on nighttime raids.

Meanwhile, Washington and Kabul are punting for now on the questions of long-term U.S. access to military bases and the status of any American forces that remain in the country when most troops have left, figuring they'll have time over the next few years to iron out any differences.

The deal also doesn't include Afghan President Hamid Karzai's demand for $2 billion a year in funding from the U.S.

It's expected the strategic partnership deal will be signed, sealed and delivered before a NATO summit scheduled next month in Chicago that will be attended by both President Obama and Karzai.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Working Hard to Craft Post-War Pact with Afghanistan

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury(WASHINGTON) -- With an agreement to allow Afghan forces to take the lead on controversial raids now signed, sealed and delivered, Washington and Kabul moved forward Tuesday on the more complicated matter of hammering out a strategic partnership document that would go into effect after the scheduled 2014 withdrawal of coalition forces.

The agreement, when it happens, will likely follow the blueprint of one crafted by the U.S. and Iraq to guarantee Afghan sovereignty once troops have exited the country.

However, given the intricacies of the 10-year-long conflict, discussions will have to proceed at a lightning fast pace since President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai want it ready when they meet next month at a NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago.

Marc Grossman, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, admitted as much to reporters, telling them, "The sooner we can sign the [strategic partnership document] with Afghanistan, people then will have to realize that there is going to be an American presence in Afghanistan for some time to come."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


South Korea 'Tearfully' Ratifies Trade Pact with US After Gas Attack

PARK YOUNG-DAE/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korea’s parliament ratified a free-trade agreement with the United States on Tuesday amid shouting and brawling by some members opposing the pact.

One opposition lawmaker threw a tear gas canister at the speaker’s podium, forcing hundreds to evacuate before resuming.

The long-delayed and controversial deal passed 151-7, with most opposition members absent.  The ruling Grand National Party (GNP) had called a surprise parliamentary session in order to push it through, taking advantage of its majority status.

Kim Sun-Dong, a member of the minority Democratic Labor Party who set off the canister, repeatedly shouted “No to FTA (Free Trade Agreement)!” and “GNP, aren’t you afraid of history and the people,” as security guards wrestled him out of the floor.  Legislators coughed and wiped tears as they rammed the free-trade deal through.

The deal is expected to boost South Korean exports of automobile-related parts, electronics and textiles, according to economists.  But agriculture, fisheries and chemicals are among the industries facing future disadvantage.

It is the biggest U.S. trade pact since the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement and was approved by the U.S. Congress last month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Reaches Korea Free Trade Agreement

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The United States and South Korea have agreed to a free-trade deal.  Last month when Mr. Obama visited Seoul, South Korea he was criticized for failing to achieve an agreement.

Friday the White House touted that in the weeks since failing to get an agreement what emerged was a “substantially better package than was on the table in Korea,” last month and one that is “significantly improved over the 2007 deal,” a senior administration official said this afternoon in advance of the agreement, adding that it is better for American workers and businesses.

“We think what we’ve been able to achieve now in this Korea Free Trade agreement is one that not only helps us create opportunities for business but for our workers as well,” a senior administration official said, “we have answered many of the concerns frankly from the automotive sector that will allow them to have the opportunity to go and compete just as freely in Korean car markets as they have had access to our car markets over the last several years.”

To note on the beef issue, one of the major sticking points, the administration officials admitted that while the agreement will eliminate the 40 percent tariff, it is still -- in their words “a pending issue.”

The agreement would eliminate tariffs on over 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods within five years.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio