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Afghan leader wants "at least $2 bn" a year from U.S.

Afghan leader wants

PanARMENIAN.Net - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday, April 17 said he wanted "at least $2 billion" a year from the United States after it withdraws its troops in 2014, AFP reported.

Karzai said the U.S. should specify in a partnership agreement to be signed between his country and the U.S. how much money it will give to Afghanistan after they leave.

Karzai's comments came a day after he laid most of the blame for an 18-hour assault by squads of Taliban insurgents in Kabul Sunday on intelligence failures by NATO forces.

"The terrorists' infiltration in Kabul and other provinces is an intelligence failure for us and especially for NATO and should be seriously investigated," Karzai said in a statement.

The 130,000-strong U.S.-led NATO force helping the Afghan government fight a decade-long Taliban insurgency is due to end combat operations and pull out by the end of 2014 and the two countries are in talks about their future relations.

Kabul has already achieved two preconditions for signing the treaty - full control over the U.S.-run Bagram prison and controversial special forces night raids against Taliban insurgents.

Officials on both sides have expressed hope that a strategic partnership agreement governing post-2014 ties could be signed ahead of a NATO summit in Chicago in May.

The U.S. led an invasion of Afghanistan to topple the hardline Islamist Taliban regime for harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Since then it has led a NATO fight in support of Karzai's government against a Taliban insurgency, in which nearly U.S. 2,000 troops have died, according to monitoring group icasualties.org.

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