World Bulletin / News Desk
Washington declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally on Saturday, a status that grants US an opportunity to be able to sell Afghans weapons.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the decision, made by President Barack Obama, during her unannounced visit to Kabul where she met President Hamid Karzai on the eve of a major donors' conference in Tokyo which will draw pledges for aid.
The status upgrade may help US sell Afghanistan its defence supplies and train Afghan troops.
Clinton told a press briefing with Karzai before jetting off to Tokyo.
Obama's decision meets an announcement he made on a visit to Afghanistan this year to upgrade Kabul to a special security status given to only a limited number of U.S. partners -- including close allies like Israel and Japan -- which are not members of NATO.
Participants at the Tokyo meeting are expected to commit just under $4 billion annually in development aid for Afghanistan at Sunday's meeting, though the central bank has said the country needs at least $6 billion a year to foster economic growth over the next decade.
This is on top of the $4.1 billion committed annually by NATO and its partners for Afghanistan's security forces, pledged at a Chicago summit in May.
U.S. officials with Clinton declined to say how much aid the United States would pledge, which has significantly reduced aid since the peak year of 2010 when more than $6 billion was given, two thirds from Washington.
The 7.9 earthquake earlier on Saturday has triggered an avalanche on Mt Everest
An earthquake measuring 7.7 has hit the east of Nepal, and was felt in India. Those with broken limbs have been taken to hospital and at least 50 people trapped in Kathmadu's 19th century tower.
French photographer Roland Neveu tells of ‘accident of history’ of rise of ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in 1975.
A Japanese man has been arrested for landing a drone on the prime ministers office in protest of Japan's use of nuclear power
Four fighters who say they work for Iran call on Assad regime and Hezbollah for an exchange of prisoners with Syrian opposition forces.
Human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead after leaving a restaurant where she had given a talk about Baluchistan.
The Law and Order Trust Fund of Afghanistan (LOTFA) received over has received around $3.6 billion from international donors since 2002 to pay Afghan police force salaries and other expenses
Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Islam was killed by US attacks near the Afghan border in January of this year.
Taliban fighters have launched rocket attacks on a US base in Kabul and have targeted government buildings in Afghanistan.
Indonesian attorney general’s spokesman confirms reports that his office has sent letters to prosecutors advising them to make preparations ahead of the imminent executions of the Bali 9
The attacks come after deputy PM said ‘violence had decreased substantially’ in the Muslim south.
This is the first time a Chinese warship has warned a Philippine plane on patrol in disputed area in South China Sea, another military official said.
This is third Pakistani visit to Saudi Arabia since Islamabad decided to remain neutral in Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen.
After the meeting with Xi on the sidelines of an Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia, Abe also said the two leaders agreed to contribute to regional stability and prosperity by promoting "mutually beneficial strategic ties"
A ceremony was held in Seoul involving U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, who continues to recover the full use of his left hand after being attacked with a knife at a local event last month.
Jiji news agency reported, Japan Pm and Chinese President held a bilateral meeting in Indonesia on Wednesday