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Karzai interested in signing BSA: Usmani

Karzai interested in signing BSA: Usmani

Feb 09, 2014 - 15:12

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai is interested in concluding the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States before the April 5 elections, his foreign minister said on Sunday.

At a joint news conference with his visiting German counterpart in Kabul, Zarar Ahmad Usmani said the BSA text was complete, needing no amendments.

However, he insisted the deal’s signing should pave the ground for durable peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon -- a suggestion shared by the consultative Loya Jirgainfo-icon held in November 2013.

“President Karzai, in view of the ground situation in the country, wants to conclude the vital security pact before the presidential and provincial elections,” he added. 

Ongoing negotiations would come to fruition and the accord would be signed, the minister hoped, reiterating the Afghan government and people were undoubtedly serious about finalising the deal. But the conditions set by Kabul and the Loya Jirga must be met, stressed Usmani.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also underlined the need for the early conclusion of the BSA. The visiting dignitary said he had taken up the issue with Karzai, who had his reservations.

“I have told President Karzai that the pact isn’t important to the US alone; it’s equally important to Germany and other European nations. Absent a BSA, we can’t stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014,” Steinmeier explained.

He said Germany was clear that the early signing of the agreement was essential for their future mission to train and support Afghan security forces after an end to the ISAFinfo-icon mandate. The minister also reaffirmed Germany’s support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process.







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