KABUL - The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Sunday that talks between the US and Afghanistan about a long-term strategic agreement are under way.
"Talks have been resumed in Kabul and are going on nicely," Janan Musazai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently said that he will not sign an Afghan-US pact unless NATO-led night operations are stopped. These have been a major source of conflict between President Karzai and foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The US military has defended night operations, calling them the most effective way to remove insurgents leaders from the ground. NATO has said it will continue night operations in close collaboration with Afghan forces.
Civilian casualties have also been a bone of contention for Mr. Karzai. A NATO air assault killed eight young Afghans in Kapisa province last week.
The incident was condemned by President Karzai and the government appointed a delegation to visit the area to carry out an investigation into the incident.
NATO confirmed the deaths.
"Eight young Afghans lost their lives as a result of an air strike by coalition forces," said ISAF's head of communications, General Lewis Boone.
The UN recently said that the number of civilian fatalities had risen for the fifth consecutive year and said that 3,021 civilians were killed in 2011 alone.
Most of those deaths were caused by insurgents, it said, but civilian deaths due to NATO air strikes also rose 9 per cent to 187.