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Kabul-NATO deal tied to BSA signing: US

Kabul-NATO deal tied to BSA signing: US

Dec 22, 2013 - 11:17

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The United States on Saturday welcomed NATOinfo-icon's decision to begin talks on the status of forces agreement (SOFA) with Afghanistaninfo-icon, saying its conclusion is based on signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA).

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was pleased to learn that NATO had begun negotiations with the government of Afghanistan on the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), his press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

"NATO's decision to move forward with negotiations on a SOFA is yet another demonstration of the international community's willingness to support Afghanistan after 2014," he said.

As the NATO secretary general and the defense secretary had made clear, the alliance won't finalise their agreement with the Bilateral Security Agreement still hanging in the balance, Kirby said.

"The message of the United States and its allies in Europe is clear: the Bilateral Security Agreement should be signed without any more delay," the Pentagon press secretary said.

Mark Thornburg, a spokesperson for the Department of State, told Pajhwok Afghan News: "BSA negotiations have concluded, and we remain ready to sign. We continue to believe that a signed BSA is in the interest of both our nations."

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