Monday, November 25, 2013

Obama’s National Security Adviser Meets With Karzai --- KABUL, Afghanistan — President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Monday, in the wake of an intensifying confrontation with the United States over a long-term security deal, American officials said. --The meeting comes a day after Mr. Karzai rejected a recommendation from his own handpicked assembly of Afghan leadership figures to promptly sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States. The deal provides a legal framework for an extended American military presence in Afghanistan after 2014. -- On Sunday, at the conclusion of a four-day-long loya jirga, or grand assembly, Mr. Karzai said in a speech that he was forbidding any further American counterterrorism raids on Afghan homes, which would all but bring to an end American combat operations in Afghanistan. Most of the remaining American combat missions are conducted by Special Operations forces hunting for insurgents hiding in local homes. -- He also said he wanted to continue negotiating the terms of the bilateral security agreement with the United States, and would not sign it until after elections next April. American officials, who say Mr. Karzai had earlier committed to completing an agreement by this November, say putting off the deal would make it impossible to prepare for a follow-on military mission after 2014. -- The spokesman for Mr. Karzai, Aimal Faizi, said the Afghan president took as a threat Mr. Kerry’s warning on Friday that there could be no security in Afghanistan if the agreement were not signed. - More, ROD NORDLAND - nytimes


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