US still open to signing BSA: White House
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States is still open to signing bilateral security agreement (BSA) with Afghanistan, the White House said Thursday, noting the delay in it would increase the risk.
“We are still open to signing a BSA,” the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.
“We have made clear what our preferred policy approach was and is, which is a mission that would be focused on counterterrorism and the continued training and support of Afghan security forces with a significantly reduced American troop presence as part of a NATO operation,” Carney said.
That is not possible without BSA signed by the Afghan government, he added.
“I think our views on this reflect what General (Joseph) Dunford said, which is that in order to maintain what we think would be the best policy option -- a limited troop presence there to focus on counterterrorism and training and support of the Afghan forces -- we need a BSA,” he added.
“We negotiated one with the Afghan government and had as a target date for its signing the end of last year in keeping with what the Afghan government had identified as the timeframe,” he added.
He noted that “we have made clear, as the days and weeks have passed in 2014, that the further we move into this year, the more our ability to -- even if we were to sign a BSA later in the year, it would -- the later we sign it, the more constrained our presence and mission would be beyond 2014.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.