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

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More