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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora