Ukraine Crisis: US Position on Afghanistan Unaffected
WASHINGTON – The developments in Ukraine have not changed the US position on a post-2014 presence in Afghanistan, the White House said on Monday. “(On) Afghanistan, our position remains the same,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters during a conference call. She said a remaining US presence in Afghanistan needed the bilateral security agreement to be signed.
US President Barack Obama last week called his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai and said the US was ready to wait for his successor to be picked in the April elections to sign the accord. “But again, it remains in the interest of the people of Afghanistan,” Psaki said, insisting the Afghans had expressed their broad and deep support to concluding the accord.
“We believe the Afghan people have also already expressed their support for these steps and also support for the progress that’s been made in keeping that going,” she said. “But I would not draw a connection between the two international events,” Psaki said when asked about the impact that the developments in Ukraine would have on Afghanistan.
“No one’s preference is a military action in Ukraine. That’s why we’re pulling every lever we can on the economic end and on the political end,” she said. Secretary of State John Kerry has left for Keiv to convey US support for the efforts of the interim government moving forward, she added. (Pajhwok)