21 May 2012

Partnership agreement signed by Australia and Afghanistan

10:57 am on 21 May 2012

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has signed a new strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Chicago.

Australia will provide nearly $A400 million for security in Afghanistan after most Australian combat troops have left in 2014.

The two leaders signed a strategic partnership deal outlining ongoing cooperation in a range of areas including security, trade, and investment post-2014.

Earlier Ms Gillard said Australia's preferred option was for Afghanistan to take over responsibility for national security by the middle of next year.

She said Australia is still open to its special forces remaining in Afghanistan for longer.