US links troop presence beyond 2014 to BSA
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): There is a possibility of US troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014 only if the bilateral security agreement (BSA) is signed, the White House said Monday.
“We have a policy with regards to Afghanistan that I think is very focused on the mission that sent US troops to Afghanistan -- the President refocused our attention on upon review of our Afghan policy,” the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.
The United States continues to pursue that policy, and that includes drawing down forces this year, he said. “It also includes the possibility of a troop presence beyond 2014 if, and only if, a bilateral security agreement is signed by Afghanistan. So there are some ifs in there, and so we’ll have to see what happens in the coming months,” Carney said.
Meanwhile the State Department said it looks forward to the completion of the electoral process.
“We look forward to the Afghan electoral bodies continuing to do their work and processing the outcomes. The initial tranche of results is part of the IEC’s announced process for providing results information,” the State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said.
“We all, of course, need to have patience to allow the Afghan-owned process to play out. So we will allow that process to happen. It is only a percentage of the votes that is being counted. So obviously, there is more work that the election committee needs to do,” Psaki said in response to a question.
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