WASHINGTON - A new strategic partnership is intended to provide a transparent political framework for long-term cooperation between the US and Afghanistan, a State Department spokesperson said on Thursday.
"It will reaffirm our shared commitment to a stable, independent Afghanistan that is not a safe-haven for Al Qaeda, as well as US respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty," Victoria Nuland said.
The United States neither sought permanent American military bases in Afghanistan nor a presence that would be a threat to its neighbors, Nuland said before the start of crucial talks on the strategic partnership.
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman and Doug Lute, special assistant to President Barack Obama, are hosting Afghan National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta and the delegation led by him.
Discussions on the US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership document will take place on September 8-9. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would meet Spanta later on Thursday, she said.
Nuland said the two countries would take the opportunity to continue their ongoing dialogue on a wide range of subjects related to security, governance, economic social development and regional issues.
"In May 2010, Presidents Obama and Karzai committed to updating the 2005 Joint Declaration of the United States-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Spanta and the Afghan delegation for the continuation of those discussions," Nuland said.