Karzai-Hagel meeting has to be cancelled: Musazai
KABUL (PAN): Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Musazai on Sunday said the US had requested a meeting between President Hamid Karzai and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, but the meeting had to be canceled due to the president’s planned visit to Iran.
Addressing a press conference, Musazai said President Karzai could not hold a meeting with Hagel because he was scheduled to leave for Tehran.
He said US officials had proposed a meeting between President Karzai and Hagel prior to the latter’s arrival in Kabul.
He said: “But the president has to leave Kabul for Tehran because of the planned visit.”
However, Hagel, who arrived in Kabul on Saturday on a surprise visit, said he had no plans to meet with President Karzai.
The Defense Secretary said his Afghan counterpart Bismillah Khan Mohammadi had assured him the pact would be signed in a timely manner.
Hagel said the Loya Jirga had urged Karzai to sign the pact. "The Loya Jirga came forward in a rather overwhelming and clearly pronounced way, recommending that the bilateral security agreement with the United States be signed by the president.”
Karzai has refused to sign the security pact, saying he wants his successor to decide on the agreement after his country's presidential election in April.
The US has said Karzai must sign the pact by the end of this year, or the US will have no choice but to withdraw all troops after 2014.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.