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BSA impasse: US faces political, technical problems

BSA impasse: US faces political, technical problems

Mar 04, 2014 - 21:14

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): US ambassador to Afghanistan James B Cunningham on Tuesday said the trust-deficit caused by the delays in concluding the bilateral security agreement had left Washington struggling with political and technical problems.

Cunningham, who arrived in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, held talks with Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, other officials and civil society activists.

After his meeting with Noor, Cunningham said he did not expect any change was coming to the relations between the US and Afghanistan in the wake of Kabul’s refusal to sign the security agreement.

The ambassador said the Loya Jirga had already delivered its decision on the agreement and the delays in its conclusion had created anxiety in the region and among the Afghans, with the US struggling to deal with subsequent political and technical pressure.

However, Cunningham said efforts were in place to resolve the impasse. He said relations between the US and Afghan governments had sometimes been at a low, but the BSA was the product of joint efforts.

The US envoy said Washington desired long-term partnership with Kabul and in case the BSA was not concluded, the US would look for an alternate plan.

However, he said no American troops would remain in Afghanistan if they lacked a legal framework and NATO would follow suit, a situation that would deprive Afghanistan of international efforts crucial to its economic development.

The US envoy also said they supported credible and transparent elections due on April 5 in Afghanistan, saying the vote had a historic importance for the Afghans.