Progress Seen After Obama and Karzai Discuss Detainees and Indefinite Detention
President Obama and the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, had what an American official called a “serious and positive” discussion on Wednesday night that the Afghans confirmed had made progress toward resolving an increasingly acrimonious dispute over detaining terrorism suspects, which had their two governments and their militaries at loggerheads for weeks.
In a video teleconference, Mr. Karzai and Mr. Obama had a wide-ranging conversation touching almost every hot-button issue that has complicated the plans of the United States to draw down its forces here, senior American and Afghan officials said. Most important, they began to resolve the two countries’ differences on rules for indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trial, known as administrative detention, officials from the two countries said. American military commanders insist on assurances that terrorism suspects they detain in the field will not be summarily released.
The Afghan Constitution and laws do not provide explicitly for indefinite detention, but Mr. Karzai has now ordered his judiciary “to come up with a legal framework that allows us to keep those people who pose a serious security threat,” Aimal Faizi, the president’s spokesman, said Thursday.