President Karzai: US-Afghanistan Security Deal Not Ready
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Afghanistan's president ruled out signing a security deal with the United States until disagreements over sovereignty are resolved, but said he will convene a council of elders in one month to help him make a decision on the pending agreement.
Hamid Karzai made the pointed remarks about the languishing Bilateral Security Agreement even as he condemned what he described as repeated violations of Afghan sovereignty by the United States and allies, AP reported.
The US wants a deal by the end of October to give American and NATO military planners enough time to prepare for keeping troops in the country after the scheduled 2014 withdrawal — instead of a total pullout similar to the one in Iraq. There are increasing indications the US may in fact pull out all their forces.
"The United States and NATO have not respected our sovereignty. Whenever they find it suitable to them, they have acted against it. This has been a serious point of contention between us and that is why we are taking issue of the BSA strenuously in the negotiations right now," Karzai said.
Karzai's comments came on the 12th anniversary of the start of the American campaign in Afghanistan against al-Qaida that ousted its Taliban allies from power. The invasion was in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
Karzai's outburst came in response to a question about a NATO airstrike on Oct. 5 in Nangarhar province, near an airport used by US-led international military coalition forces, that the government claimed killed 5 civilians. The coalition said they struck insurgents trying to mortar the base and that no civilians were hurt. NATO has opened an investigation into the incident.