WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai that all US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if he fails to sign the bilateral security agreement with Washington, the White House said.
In a telephone call, the US president told his Afghan counterpart that his country will no longer wait for a deal before preparing for a full withdrawal.
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.
“President Obama told President Karzai that because he has demonstrated that it is unlikely that he will sign the BSA, the United States is moving forward with additional contingency planning,” the White House said in a statement.
“Should we have a BSA and a willing and committed partner in the Afghan government, a limited post-2014 mission focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces and going after the remnants of core al-Qaeda could be in the interests of the United States and Afghanistan,” it 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.
The United States has been pressing the Afghan government to sign the deal for more than a year, but Karzai says that he will not sign the security deal with the US if Washington does not guarantee peace in the country.