Afghanistan rebuffs US deadline

The Afghan foreign minister says the Kabul government does not accept any deadline to sign the bilateral security agreement with Washington.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Zalmai Rassoul made the remarks during a press conference in Kabul on Sunday. The comments come as White House is pressuring the Afghan government to sign the deal by October.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently said that his government would only sign the deal if it led to a stronger, safer, and more united Afghanistan.

This comes while the official talks have been suspended by Kabul.

In the meantime, Abdul Karim Khoram, the presidential chief of staff, has warned that Kabul will have to pay a heavy price for giving military bases to the United States.

Å“Since Afghanistan would pay high price for giving military bases to the US, the country has its conditions before inking the security pact and one of the conditions is ensuring durable peace and security in our country,” Abdul Karim Khoram said during a recent interview with local news channels.

Washington had promised to withdraw all combat forces from Afghanistan by 2014. However, it has been locked in tricky negotiations with Kabul over a strategic partnership beyond 2014.

In May, President Karzai said his government was ready to let the US set up nine bases across Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

Many Afghans believe the US is envisaging permanent military bases there.

Afghan political groups have warned that things will get worse should the US set up permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

Afghan political figures have also heaped scorn on US-led forces for committing unforgivable crimes against Afghan women and children since invading the country in 2001.

Thousands of Afghan civilians, including a large number of women and children, have been killed during the night raids by foreign forces and CIA-run assassination drone strikes.

The increasing number of casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger against the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.


Republished from: Press TV