Karzai Not Willing to Ink BSA, Says White House
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States is ready to sign the bilateral security agreement in coming days, National Security Advisor Susan Rice has told President Hamid Karzai, but the later insisted he is not prepared yet, the White House said Monday. “Rice conveyed to Karzai that the US welcomes the Loya Jirga’s overwhelming endorsement of the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and is prepared to sign the agreement in the coming days,” the White House said in a statement, a day after she met Karzai in Kabul.
During the meeting, Rice underscored the opportunity provided by the BSA to sustain the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan to support the Afghans in achieving lasting peace, security and development. “In response, Karzai outlined new conditions for signing the agreement and indicated he is not prepared to sign the BSA promptly,” the White House said, arguing the absence of BSA would jeopardise NATO and other nations’ pledges of assistance made at Chicago and Tokyo conferences in 2012.
The White House said Rice conveyed the overwhelming and moving support she found among all the Afghans with whom she met for an enduring US-Afghan partnership and for the prompt signing of the BSA. “Rice highlighted the American people’s friendship and support for the people of Afghanistan as embodied in the extraordinary sacrifices of our service-men and women and the unprecedented investment Americans have made in Afghanistan,” the White House said.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that in order to plan for a post-2014 military presence with allies, the US needed to get this agreement signed before the end of the year. (PAN)