Kerry optimistic about BSA signing
ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan and the United States would be able to conclude the Bilateral Security Agreement on an American military presence in the war-torn country beyond 2014, a senior Obama administration official hoped on Thursday.
After talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Islamabad: "We're moving ahead, we're working on it. I am personally optimistic we will conclude this accord.
Satisfied with the progress made thus far on the pact, the visiting secretary said he was comfortable where the two sides were. “I expect this agreement to be completed in an appropriate time,” Kerry remarked, when asked about the BSA.
While angrily reacting to the way the Taliban’s political office was opened in Qatar on June 18, Kabul announced suspending BSA negotiations with Washington. It blamed the US for failing to keep its promises on the issue.
On June 30, President Hamid Karzai discussed with jihadi leaders and political figures Afghanistan’s stance on the BSA.
Participants of the consultative session agreed the talks should resume after the Taliban’s representatives in Doha entered reconciliation parleys with High Peace Council members.
They stressed signing of the security pact must guarantee Afghanistan’s stability and economic growth on the one hand and equipping its security personnel, including the air force, on the other.
The meeting asked the United States to come to the aid of its ally in case of foreign aggression in line with Article 9 of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the statement added.
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