BSA signing likely before power transfer
KABUL (Pajhwok): Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani on Monday hinted the Bilateral Security agreement (BSA) with the US could be concluded before transition of political leadership.
Osmani, addressing a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, said: “The peaceful conduct of the April 5 elections was one of Afghanistan’s conditions for signing the BSA. It is fortunate the Afghans have successfully passed the important stage.”
However, he said if the security accord could not be signed ahead of the power transfer, it would be concluded by the winner of Saturday’s presidential race.
A consultative Loya Jirga, involving 2,500 delegates from across the country, had overwhelmingly endorsed the accord on November 21, 2013.
But President Karzai refused to sign the document until raids on Afghan homes by foreign forces were stopped and peace talks with the Taliban practically launched. He also cited transparent presidential elections as a precondition.
Osmani hoped the US would accept Afghanistan’s conditions and wait for an appropriate time to conclude the accord, which he called of great importance to the Afghans.
He also said a discussion over the BSA was ongoing with neighbouring Iran to convince Tehran to endorse the agreement that would allow some American troops to stay on in Afghanistan.
Osmani praised Afghan security forces for their hard work and efforts at protecting voters from possible militant attacks during the landmark elections.
For his part, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the Afghans had emerged successful in holding the historic elections to strengthen democracy in their country.
He stressed the need for increased cooperation between Germany and Afghanistan and reaffirmed his country’s commitment to assisting Kabul in the future.
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