TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

NATO says Karzai failure to sign pact would end Afghan mission

AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Afghan schoolchildren take lessons in an open classroom at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province on December 1, 2013. Afghanistan has had only rare moments of peace over the past 30 years, its education system being undermined by the Soviet invasion of 1979, a civil war in the 1990s and five years of Taliban rule. AFP PHOTO/Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

BRUSSELS — NATO would have to pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not sign a security pact with the United States, alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.

An assembly of Afghan elders, the loya jirga, last month endorsed the security pact intended to shape the U.S. military presence in the country beyond 2014. Karzai said he might not sign it until after elections in April.

The NATO-led force has 80,000 troops in Afghanistan, the majority American. NATO is winding down combat operations, handing responsibility for fighting the Taliban to the Afghans before most foreign combat forces pull out by the end of 2014.

NATO plans to leave a training mission, expected to number 8,000 to 12,000 soldiers, in Afghanistan after 2014.

The United States has warned it could withdraw all of its forces by the end of next year, the so-called “zero option,” if Karzai does not sign the pact.

Without the U.S.-Afghan accord, NATO will not be able to finalize its agreement with the Afghan government setting the terms for troops from other NATO and partner nations to remain in Afghanistan after 2014, Rasmussen said.

He voiced hope Karzai would follow the advice of the loya jirga and sign.

The agreement that NATO needs is modeled on the proposed U.S. pact.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Russia stakes claim to energy-rich Arctic
  2. Israeli militant jailed in West Bank arson
  3. German prosecutor fired amid treason inquiry
  4. Taliban leader quits amid leadership rift
  5. N. Korean ship sought to pay judgement in lawsuit
  6. Comets hold life building blocks
  7. Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes
  8. Taliban fracture outcome unclear
  9. Al-Qaida branch in Syria threatens U.S.-backed forces
  10. Surfer seriously injured in Australian shark attack
  11. ISIS suspected in abduction of Indian citizens in Libya