Karzai: U.S. wants to keep 9 bases in Afghanistan after 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony at Kabul University, May 9, 2013. AP

KABUL, Afghanistan Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday he was ready to let the U.S. have nine bases in the country after the 2014 combat troop pullout, but wants Washington's "security and economic guarantees" first.

Speaking at a ceremony on Thursday at Kabul University, Karzai said Afghanistan is ready to sign a partnership agreement to that effect.

Karzai says: "When they (the U.S.) do this, we are ready to sign."

The remarks were the first time the Afghan leader had offered any insight into ongoing talks over a deal that would outline American presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

CBS News Kabul bureau chief Mukhtar Ahmad reports that, according to Karzai, the U.S. wants to maintain bases in Kabul, Herat, Helmand, Shindand, Gardez, Mazar, Jalalabad, Kandahar and Bagram.

Karzai said Afghanistan wants a U.S. commitment to quickly bring security to the country, strengthen its security forces and the promise of prolonged economic development.

U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment.

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