NATO hails Loya Jirga decision on security deal
KABUL (PAN): NATO on Wednesday welcomed the four-day consultative Loya Jirga's endorsement of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the United States and Afghanistan, hoping for the timely signature of the pact.
On Sunday, the grand tribal assembly featuring 2,500 delegates overwhelmingly supported the deal and urged the government to sign the BSA before the April 2014 presidential and provincial council elections.
But President Hamid Karzai said he would consult with Loya Jirga and US leaders on amendments to the BSA before signing the vital security pact. “We want the US to be sincere in implementing this important deal,” the president told the concluding session of the forum.
Identifying peace and transparent elections as the main objectives behind the accord, he asked the participants: “Can we achieve this (goal) in a month’s time? If I sign this agreement and peace continues to elude the country, who will be held responsible?”
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told Pajhwok Afghan News the alliance hailed the jirga’s decision.“It will also be important to put in place the necessary legal framework for the deployment of the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014.”
The alliance would be working closely with the Afghan government on this issue in the weeks ahead, she said in response to an emailed query from this news agency.
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