News / Asia

NATO Chief: Afghanistan Will Sign New Security Deal

NATO Chief: Afghanistan Will Sign New Security Deali
X
February 05, 2014 5:17 AM
The head of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, says he expects the Afghan government will soon agree to a new security deal on the engagement of foreign troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

NATO Chief: Afghanistan Will Sign New Security Deal

Zlatica Hoke
— Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the head of NATO, said he expects the Afghan government will soon agree to a new security deal on the engagement of foreign troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a deal before his country's April 5 presidential election, and a published report alleges he is in secret contacts with the Taliban to reach a peace agreement. The United States has warned Karzai that a security deal with the Western alliance is urgent to enable timely planning for the deployment after 2014.
 
The presidential campaign in Afghanistan is in full swing. President Karzai is not eligible to run, and has said he wants the country's new elected leader to be the one to sign the security agreement that his government has negotiated with the United States.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney has repeatedly stressed the urgency of signing a bilateral agreement on training and supporting the Afghan forces in counter-terrorism.
 
"The longer there is a delay, the harder it is for NATO and U.S. military forces to plan for a post-2014 presence. This is a matter of weeks, not months, and I think that's a way of saying that we -- you know -- this can't wait for very long, because it's impossible to ask our NATO allies or our U.S. military commanders to plan on a contingency. This is a complicated piece of business and there cannot be and will not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 without a signed bilateral security agreement," said Carney.
 
Rasmussen expressed confidence Tuesday that a new agreement with Kabul will be signed. He told reporters in London that Afghanistan's security depends on that agreement.
 
"One thing is that while we do believe the Afghan security forces will be able to take full responsibility for security in Afghanistan, we also believe that they will need continued training and assistance. But quite another thing is that if we are not present in Afghanistan after 2014, it might also be difficult to generate sufficient financial resources to actually sustain the Afghan security forces. And if not, the Afghan government can't afford to pay salaries to the Afghan security forces. So that would be a major challenge for Afghanistan," said the NATO chief.
 
U.S. relations with President Karzai have been strained in the past years. He has accused the U.S. military of using indiscriminate force and causing too many civilian deaths in his country. 
 
A report published by The New York Times Tuesday claimed Karzai has had secret contacts with the Taliban in an effort to reach a peace agreement without the involvement of the United States. The report said this explains President Karzai's reluctance to sign the new security deal with the West and his insistence on the release of some hardened Taliban militants from prison.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama met with top military officials Tuesday at the White House for discussions including Afghanistan.  There was no statement after the closed-door meeting, but a White House spokesperson said no decision was made regarding the continued U.S. role in Afghanistan.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid