Obama advisor tells Karzai not to delay security deal signing
US President Barack Obama's national security advisor on Monday told Afghan president Hamid Karzai that delay in signing a security agreement between the two countries would jeopardize plans for a continued US presence in Afghanistan, dpa reported.
Karzai told national security advisor Susan Rice that he was not prepared to promptly sign the agreement, the White House said.
Rice responded that putting off signing the deal was "not viable" and would not give the US and NATO allies time to plan their involvement after the withdrawal of combat troops next year.
The meeting comes amid uncertainty over a draft bilateral security deal between the US and Afghanistan, announced at the weekend after Several days of deliberations by a Grand Assembly, or Loya Jirga, of Afghan tribal leaders.
The Afghan elders called on Karzai to sign the security agreement with the US before the end of 2013, but Karzai has signalled he will not act immediately.
She said the lack of agreement would do a disservice to Afghans ahead of spring elections and jeopardize NATO allies' and other nation's pledged assistance.
The White House said Rice "reiterated that, without a prompt signature, the US would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan."
The meeting was at the president's request.
The draft agreement endorsed Sunday by the tribal elders gives details of the terms on which some US troops would remain in Afghanistan after most other foreign forces pull out next year.