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    UK PM: BSA vital to Afghan security

    KABUL (PAN): British Prime Minister David Cameron, during a pre-Christmas visit to Camp Bastion in southern Helmand province, has said inking the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States has immense importance for Afghanistan.

    Cameron, who arrived in Helmand on a surprise visit on Monday, watched a friendly football match between Afghan and British soldiers.

    About the impasse over the deal, he said: “I am confident the Kabul-Washington bilateral accord will be signed.”

    During his speech, Cameron said the agreement was of immense importance for the future security of Afghanistan. He believed signing the pact would be in the interest of Afghanistan, NATO and the US.

    The visiting prime minister confirmed some UN agencies were concerned over growing poppy cultivation in Helmand. In order to eradicate poppies, he suggested steps to enhance good governance, capacity of security forces, strengthening of the local system and persuading growers into wheat cultivation.

    In a report released in April 2013,the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime noted an increase in poppy cultivation in the country. It estimated 50 percent of poppy was being cultivated in Helmand.