WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that new president of Afghanistan will sign the bilateral security agreement with the United States, allowing thousands of US troops to stay in Afghanistan for up to a decade after the end of 2014.
The United States has been pressing the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign the agreement for more than a year, but Karzai has so far refused to sign the deal.
“Whether it’s signed by him or not we obviously have serious reservations, but all six of the candidates for the presidency of Afghanistan have said that they will sign it,” Kerry told media persons in Washington.
The statement by the US Secretary of State came after President Barack Obama in a telephone call warned his Afghan counterpart that all US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if he fails to sign the security deal with Washington.
The White House said that Obama has ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for a full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan if the deal is not signed.