BSA to be signed tomorrow: Obama aide
KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior adviser to US President Barack Obama said on Monday the long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would be signed between Kabul and Washington on Tuesday.
John Podesta told reporters at the US Embassy here he did not know if the newly-inaugurated president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, himself would sign the deal on behalf of Afghanistan.
Ambassador James B. Cunningham would ink the pact, allowing nearly 10,000 American troops to stay in the country after the international combat mission ends on December 31.
Ahmadzai had earlier said he would sign the security agreement after coming into power, as his predecessor refused to ink it despite approval from a consultative loya jirga.
The new president is also expected to sign a NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which will allow a small foreign force to stay on as well.
John Podesta said he had congratulated Ahmadzai and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on their inauguration on behalf of President Obama.
He called the unity government a wise decision and in the larger interest of Afghanistan and its people, saying that Washington was committed to close relations with Kabul.
The advisor to Obama congratulated the Afghans on exercising their constitutional right of voting to elect their future leadership, a right the Afghans had long fought for.
He hoped the unity government would represent the voice of all Afghans who had to cooperate with the new administration.
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