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    Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

    US to Allocate up to $800Mln for New Partnership With Afghanistan - Kerry

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    US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US would allocate up to $800 million for a new US-Afghan development partnership.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Washington will allocate up to $800 million for a new US-Afghan cooperation initiative to assist Afghanistan’s development and self-reliance, US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a press conference at Camp Davis.

    “I am also pleased to announce today a new initiative, a plan to create a new development partnership aligned with the unity government reform agenda,” Kerry said on Monday. “The partnership will promote Afghan self-reliance by using up to $800 million in US aid to incentivize and measure Afghan-led reform.”

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah were also present at the press conference.

    Kerry explained the funds allocated to Kabul aim at improving development activities, strengthening Afghan institutions, their sustainability and fiscal transparency.

    “In today’s discussion we committed to an energy working group that would focus on the synergies of the regional energy market,” Kerry said.

    This initiative recognizes “a new era of cooperation” between the governments of the United States and Afghanistan, Kerry added.

    Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah and other senior members of the Afghan government are visiting the United States for bilateral talks. The Afghan officials’ visit comes nearly three months after the US-led NATO mission ended combat operations in Afghanistan after being present for 14 years in the war-torn country.

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