Both sides agreed to set aside difficult questions about long-term U.S. access to military bases and the status of any U.S. forces that do stay on in Afghanistan. These issues will be negotiated in a separate deal some time before 2014.
Washington and its allies wanted to have the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership agreed before May, when a NATO conference in Chicago, Illinois, is expected to pledge long-term help to Kabul with finances and military training.
By opening the way for a smaller but longer-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan, the agreement would give western leaders a rationale for supporting Kabul after combat troops are withdrawn in 2014.
It also aims to reassure Afghans that the west will not cut and run, and is critical to Afghanistan's financial stability. The World Bank forecasts the country will have a $7 billion (£4.4 billion) hole in its annual budget after 2014.
"We are expecting the signature some time before Chicago, although there is no date yet," said Faizi.
Earlier this week it looked as if the pact might have been thrown back into question when Karzai demanded that the U.S. write a pledge for funding of the Afghan security forces into the document.
"They are providing us with money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down," Karzai was reported by the Associated Press to have said in a speech in the capital commemorating a revered Afghan writer.
The international community has informally agreed to spend around $4 billion a year supporting the Afghan police and army, with the bulk of that coming from the U.S., some from European allies and around $500 million a year from the Afghan budget.
Karzai said he wanted a written commitment of at least $2bn, rather than a verbal promise of a higher figure, but the deal does not contain any firm figures. The U.S. government was not available for comment.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Correspondent Emma Graham-Harrison, reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/22/afghanistan-us-strategic-partnership-document