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Karzai, Kerry Extend Security Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed to hold a third round of talks on a bilateral security agreement that could determine how many U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

A spokesman for Mr. Karzai said some issues still needed to be finalized and the two officials had agreed to continued talks late Saturday.

Kerry traveled to Afghanistan Friday for the previously unannounced visit in hopes of advancing negotiations on a deal.

The U.S. has been trying to reach an agreement by the end of the month on a plan that could allow U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan after the NATO-led military mission ends next year.

The talks between Washington and Kabul have been underway for over a year.

However, they stalled on issues of Afghan sovereignty, the expected role of U.S. forces, and Mr. Karzai's demand for American guarantees against future foreign intervention.

If there is no agreement, U.S. forces will leave by the end of 2014.



In another development, U.S. officials announced the capture of senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud.

Word of his capture came as Kerry met with Mr. Karzai on Friday.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Mehsud was captured in eastern Afghanistan.

The spokeswoman said Mehsud's group had claimed responsibility for attacks that include an attempted bombing in New York's Times Square in 2010.

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