Karzai: My trust in America is not good

Karzai: My trust in America is not good
Fri Nov 22, 2013 07:55:04

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai says there is little trust between Washington and Kabul over a security pact and it should not come into effect until after next year's election.

About 2,500 tribal elders and political leaders from all around Afghanistan gathered in the capital, Kabul, for a Loya Jirga, or grand council, on Thursday to debate whether to allow US troops to stay after the 2014 drawdown of foreign forces.

"My trust with America is not good. I don't trust them and they don't trust me," Karzai said. "During the past 10 years I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me."

Karzai called the assembly to muster public support for a pact regarded by many Afghans with contempt.

Karzai said in a statement the assembly any agreement on the status of US forces would have to wait until after a presidential election in April.

"This pact should be signed when the election has already taken place, properly and with dignity," Karzai, who cannot run in the 2014 vote under the constitution, said.

The US on the other hand says it is "neither practical nor possible" to delay its signing beyond the end of 2013.

"We believe that signing the BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) sooner rather than later is essential to give Afghans certainty about their future before the upcoming elections, and enable the United States and other partners to plan for US presence after 2014," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Washington after Karzai made his remarks, adding the US was seeking clarification.

Over the next four days delegates will debate the draft and decide whether they want US troops to stay.

Karzai told the assembly he broadly supported the security pact but said there was little trust between him and US officials.


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