No Support for Afghanistan until Security Treaty signed with US

KABUL: (MEP) – An American Senator told the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, that there would be no US assistance until the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the two countries is signed.

The Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told the President in a meeting in Afghan capital Kabul during his weeklong trip to the country that United States would not be able to provide any assistance to Afghanistan until the signing of BSA, KUNA reported.

The Senator said, “I told President Karzai that we will not able to provide such assistance unless an acceptable Bilateral Security Agreement is reached in the near future and also stressed that his words have too often not been helpful to promote confidence between our countries.” Levin said that he was struck by the very positive changes in Afghanistan since he first started visiting the country about 12 years ago and how the improvement has accelerated in the last three years. He added, “Afghanistan is more secure, and of greatest importance perhaps, it is the Afghan Army and police who now have responsibility for preserving security and they are doing so far more successfully and quickly than many predicted.” The Afghan president has forwarded the issue of approval of BSA to the Loya Jirga or a national meeting of tribal elders that will take place in the third week of November to discuss the fate of a future security deal with the United States for keeping troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

The US State Secretary John Kerry and President of Afghanistan met last week to reach an agreement on the major elements of a deal that would allow US to keep its troops in Afghanistan after 2014 when the foreign forces will leave Afghanistan.

United States want to keep as many as 10,000 troops in the country to train Afghan national security forces but if no agreement is signed all US troops would have to leave by the end of next year.

Afghan security has been deteriorating, increasing worry about the country’s prospects after Western forces leave and if the Loya Jirga decides not to keep the US troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Failure to reach an agreement could prompt US to pull out all its forces at the end of 2014, an outcome known as “zero option.”

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