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    US Army soldiers provide security for members of their team near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border

    Internal Deal Among Afghans to Ensure Security, Not Agreement With US: Former Ambassador

    US Army / Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann
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    Situation in Afghanistan (87)
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    Only internal agreement among Afghans can serve as a guarantee of stability in the country, while the Security Agreement with the United States is merely a facade, Russia's former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Afghanistan told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - Only internal agreement among Afghans can serve as a guarantee of stability in the country, while the Security Agreement with the United States is merely a facade, Russia's former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Afghanistan told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

    "It [Security Agreement] gives some guarantees, but it is impossible to rely on it as a real 100 percent guarantee, it is more of a facade. The only real guarantee is internal agreement among Afghanistanis, that is the only thing that can guarantee anything," Mikhail Konarovsky told RIA Novosti.

    On September 30, the United States, NATO and Afghanistan signed a deal to formally justify the presence of a limited military contingent in the Central Asian state after the formal withdrawal of international forces. A follow-on force of about 12,000 troops is likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.

    Mikhail Konarovsky noted that Kabul needs the deal as a sort of guarantee, and most likely even before his election, Ashraf Ghani promised to sign it.

    "According to the agreement, the Americans will stay in Afghanistan for two years. They might decide to prologue it then. It is because they want to have Afghanistanis on the ropes," Konarovsky told RIA Novosti, adding that the deal might have been designed for the future unpredictable situations.

    Moscow has expressed concerns over Afghanistan's instability spillover after the withdrawal of US and international coalition troops from the country. However, in the current geopolitical situation, the presence of American troops in Russia's neighborhood raises concerns.

    "In the context of currently extremely tense relations between Russia and the United States, the presence of American troops anywhere, especially close to our borders, is a very serious situation," Konarovsky said.

    About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO's combat mission will end in December.

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    Situation in Afghanistan (87)
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