Afghan senators have tried to remove the word "friendship" from a strategic pact with France, after arguing that Islamic teachings state Muslims cannot be friends with infidels.
By Ben Farmer, Kabul and agencies
3:48PM BST 03 Oct 2012
France and Afghanistan signed the 20-year "friendship and co-operation treaty" earlier this year as a commitment that Paris would not abandon the country after its combat troops leave at the end of 2012.
France has been one of the largest contributors to the Nato-led coalition and has seen 88 of its soldiers killed in the past 11 years.
However when the agreement reached the Afghan senate this week, a group of senators tried to remove the word friendship before it was ratified.
"Some senators said that based on Sharia rulings we cannot use the word friendship with infidels, so after voting the word friendship was replaced with relationship," Senator Zahra Sharifi told the AFP news agency.
A spokesman for the senate speaker said the attempt was only a recommendation because the house lacked the power to alter the agreement. He said the objectors were a small minority of senators.
French soldier and 10 Taliban killed in Afghan firefight
07 Aug 2012[/*][/list]
The attempt obviously embarrassed some senators.
"We argued, we said that France has been a close friend of Afghanistan for a very long time," said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, chair of the senate session.
"Some senators disagreed, but the important thing is that the pact was approved, and will be sent to the foreign ministry."
A foreign ministry spokesman, Faramerz Tamana, told AFP the treaty would be sent to France who would decide whether or not to accept the change.
The agreement has already been ratified by the French parliament and the lower house of the Afghan parliament.
Tags: Loser FranceTerrorism, Afghanistan, Taliban USA, War Pakistan terrorist Punjabi ISI CIA Musad
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