WASHINGTON: The United States is considering delaying the issue of bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan until President Hamid Karzai leaves office and a new power emerges in the war-torn country following the April presidential elections, a report published on the Wall Street Journal said.
“If he’s not going to be part of the solution, we have to have a way to get past him,” US-based daily newspaper quoted a senior US official as saying.
“It’s a pragmatic recognition that clearly Karzai may not sign the (deal) and that he doesn’t represent the voice of the Afghan people,” the official said.
The bilateral security agreement will allow US troops to remain in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of the international force at the end of 2014. If it is not signed, all US and NATO forces will have to pull out from Afghanistan.
But Karzai says that he will not sign the bilateral security agreement with the United States if Washington does not guarantee peace in the country.
Earlier this month, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Karzai is unlikely to sign the deal and will probably leave the choice for his successor.