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The United States and Afghanistan have reached a deal on the final language of a bilateral security agreement, guiding the role of American troops in that south Asian nation for years to come, America's top diplomat said Wednesday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he reached the accord with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday.
Afghan leaders will hold a meeting - known as a loya jirga, or grand assembly - starting on Thursday to decide whether to accept or reject the deal, which lays out a limited support role for American forces beyond next year.
"They have to pass it," Kerry said. " It's up to the people of Afghanistan."
If approved, the agreement would go into effect January 1, 2015, and last "until the end of 2024 and beyond, unless terminated" by mutual agreement and with two years notice by either party, according to a copy of the deal posted online Wednesday by the Afghan government.
The subject of military raids and strikes has long been a sore point between the two countries, especially given a number of incidents in which noncombatant men, women and children have been killed.
CNN's Elise Labott explains the deal that will allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan for security purposes.