Karzai likely to miss U.S. security deal deadline: report

Karzai likely to miss U.S. security deal deadline: report

PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. efforts to persuade Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a long-term security agreement according to Washington's timetable will likely fail, the lead American negotiator has warned the Obama administration, Reuters reported.

In a classified cable that the Washington Post said was transmitted in recent days, U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham wrote that he did not think Karzai would agree to sign the agreement before Afghanistan's presidential election in April, the newspaper said, citing U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United States wants the Afghanistan government to sign the agreement in matter of weeks if a contingent of U.S. troops is to remain there after 2014, the White House said.

Without a deal, the United States could pull out all troops, the "zero option," leaving Afghan forces to battle the Taliban on their own.

Karzai has called that an empty threat and suggested any security deal could wait until after the April elections.

The United States has 46,000 troops in Afghanistan, but that figure is set to fall to 34,000 by early 2014.

In a another move likely to strain U.S.-Afghan ties, a spokesman for Karzai said on Thursday that Afghanistan had enough evidence to try only 16 of 88 prisoners the United States considers a threat to security and plans to free the remaining detainees.

Washington strongly opposes their release because it says the prisoners being held in Afghanistan have been involved in the wounding or killing of U.S. and coalition troops.

 Top stories
The political leader of Iraq's Kurds earlier appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
Hassan Rouhani said his government will continue his policy of moderation and "constructive engagement" with the West.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu visited the town of Soma, which in May was the scene of Turkey's worst ever mining disaster.
The embassy staff were evacuated to neighboring Tunisia "due to the ongoing violence, the U.S. State Department said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.