State Department ties Afghan aid to BSA
WASHINGTON (PAN): It would be difficult for the Obama administration to convince Congress to continue assistance to Afghanistan without the bilateral security agreement (BSA), a senior official said on Friday.
“Ultimately Congress has the authority over whether the United States will provide assistance to Afghanistan in the future. The administration intends to continue our close partnership with Afghanistan and support its development, even past 2014,” the State Department spokesperson said.
Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference assisting the war-torn nation would be difficult if they failed to conclude the BSA, justify their programmes to Congress and make that case.
Psaki made the remarks in response to a query about the statement from Senator Carl Levin that the US would not be providing aid to Afghanistan without the BSA.
“That is certainly accurate. But currently our bilateral assistance to Afghanistan continues as normal. There are no changes at this time,” she explained.
“We made progress on the BSA; there’s been announcements about the timing of a Loya Jirga. That’s the next step on the ground, and we’re certainly hopeful about continued progress on that,” she concluded.
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