December 13, 2017
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Afghanistan, US reach draft security agreement

John Kerry speaks about Afghanistan while Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens during a news conference. (AFP)

The United States and Afghanistan reached a draft agreement laying out the terms under which US troops may stay beyond 2014, one day before Afghan elders are to debate the issue.

A draft accord released by the Afghan government appears to meet US demands on such controversial issues as whether US troops would unilaterally conduct counterterrorism operations, enter Afghan homes or protect the country from outside attack.

Without the accord, Washington has warned it could withdraw its troops by the end of next year and leave Afghan forces to fight a Taliban-led insurgency without their help.

Thousands of Afghan dignitaries and elders are due to convene in a giant tent in the capital Kabul on Thursday to debate the fate of US forces after a 2014 drawdown of a multinational NATO force.

"We have reached an agreement as to the final language of the bilateral security agreement that will be placed before the Loya Jirga tomorrow," US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in the US capital, referring to the gathering.

Intense negotiations between Kabul and Washington have provoked frustration among the Afghan tribal and political elders who made perilous journeys from all over the country to the capital Kabul for a grand assembly to debate the pact.

Efforts to finalise the pact stalled on Tuesday amid disagreement over whether US. President Barack Obama had agreed to issue a letter acknowledging mistakes made during the 12-year Afghan war.

Kerry denied any discussion about the possibility of a US apology to Afghanistan for US mistakes or Afghan civilian casualties, a move that would likely draw widespread anger in the United States.

"The important thing for people to understand is there has never been a discussion of or the word 'apology' used in our discussions whatsoever," Kerry said, adding that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had also not asked for an apology.

It was unclear where the notion of an apology originated.

A US official said that when Kerry declined Karzai's invitation to attend the Loya Jirga, the Afghan leader asked for US reassurances to the council on the future security relationship that would also address civilian casualties.

Kerry suggested outlining the US position in a letter. When Karzai asked if the letter could come from Obama, Kerry said he would check, this official added.

The secretary of state said "it is up to President Obama and the White House to address any issues with respect to any possible communication" between the two presidents.

Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, insisted on Tuesday that an apology was "not on the table."

  • CommentComment
  • Increase font size Decrease font sizeSize
  • Email article
  • Print
  • Share
    1. Vote
    2. Not interesting Little interesting Interesting Very interesting Indispensable
Tags:  World  Afghanistan  US  Agreement  

  • Comment
  • Increase font size Decrease font size
  • mail
  • Print



    ámbito financiero    Docsalud    

Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia