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Afghanistan, US sign security pact allowing US forces to remain in country past end of year

  • Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, seated at right, and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, left, sign the documents of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) at presidential palace as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center right, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, center left, watch, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, seated at right, and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, left, sign the documents of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) at presidential palace as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center right, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, center left, watch, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, seated at right, and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, left, sign the documents of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) at the presidential palace as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center right, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, center left, watch, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, seated at right, and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, left, sign the documents of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) at the presidential palace as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center right, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, center left, watch, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, second right, and NATO ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits Jochems, left, shake hands at the signing of the NATO-Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement at the presidential palace, as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, second left, attend in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, second right, and NATO ambassador to Afghanistan Maurits Jochems, left, shake hands at the signing of the NATO-Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement at the presidential palace, as Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, second left, attend in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact on Tuesday that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

Afghanistan and the United States have signed a long-awaited security pact that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year.

At a Tuesday ceremony in the capital, Kabul, newly appointed national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar signed the document along with U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham.

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who was sworn into office a day earlier, told the assembled crowd that the agreement signaled a fundamental shift in the country's relations with the world.

"This agreement is only for Afghan security and stability," he said.