WASHINGTON - The United States said on Wednesday it appears to be on track to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan charting their future relations during or before a late May NATO summit.
US and Afghan officials have been trying to negotiate an accord for a long-term US presence in Afghanistan beyond a 2014 deadline for most NATO combat forces to withdraw, allowing advisers and possibly some special forces to stay on.
The two countries earlier signed a deal on the transfer of a major US-run prison to Afghan authority, leaving military raids on Afghan homes conducted at night as the final sticking point for reaching a deal.
"We've made good progress the last few weeks," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a news conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasool, citing the detentions pact.
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