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Delay in wrapping up BSA worries US senators

Delay in wrapping up BSA worries US senators

Jul 05, 2013 - 10:13

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Two influential American senators have voiced their concerns at the delay in wrapping up a long-term pact on a US military presence in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

During an unannounced visit to Kabul, Republican lawmakers John McCain and Lindsey Graham said on Thursday the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was vital to Afghanistan’s stability.

Last month, President Hamid Karzai suspended negotiations on the accord with the US in an angry reaction to the opening of the Talibaninfo-icon’s office in Doha.

He took issue with the hoisting of the Taliban’s flag at the bureau and the use of the nomenclature “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that made the office look like an embassy or a government in exile.

"We need to let the Afghan people know, and the Taliban and Pakistaninfo-icon, that America is not going to abandon Afghanistan," McCain was quoted as saying by McClatchy Newspapers.

In what looks a softening of his stand, the Afghan president has indicated the BSA talks would resume after the Taliban representatives in Doha enter reconciliation parleys with High Peace Councilinfo-icon members.

But Graham said Karzai’s condition Karzai for resuming talks on the agreement would put control of whether US troops remain in Afghanistan after 2014 in the hands of the Taliban.

PAN Monitor/mud


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