NATO says Karzai failure to sign pact would end Afghan mission
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Indonesia military transport plane crashes in Medan; 37 dead
- Israelis intercept protest ship at sea bound for Gaza Strip
- Suspected allies of beach gunman arrested in Tunisia
- Greeks rally as Prime Minister Tsipras rejects crisis bailout
- Kuwait mosque bomber slipped security watch in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain
- Powder’s role in fire at Taiwan music festival investigated
- Car bomb blast kills Egypt’s top prosecutor Barakat
- Financial team to assess Puerto Rico’s woes
- Effort under way to beat Tuesday deadline for nuclear agreement
- Kurds capture Syrian city, military base
- Jewish population near pre-World War II level