Afghanistan will sign U.S. security pact, says Germany

BERLIN Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:13pm IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (C) waits to order a coffee in the presidential lounge before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, February 7, 2014. REUTERS/David Goldman/Pool

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (C) waits to order a coffee in the presidential lounge before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, February 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/David Goldman/Pool

Related Topics

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's foreign minister said on Thursday that he had received assurances from Afghan President Hamid Karzai that his country would sign a security deal with the United States that allows Western troops to remain in the country.

The United States has warned it could withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan unless the pact is signed soon.

Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to Karzai during a weekend trip to Afghanistan.

"He said to me very clearly: the deal has been negotiated, it would not be amended," Steinmeier told the Bundestag lower house of parliament, saying, however, that Karzai had given no indication of the timing.

The Afghan president had stressed that he could only sign the agreement once the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, which will include radical forces such as the Taliban, had got underway, said Steinmeier.

"I was pleased that Karzai said very clearly that Afghanistan would in any case sign," Steinmeier said.

The United States and other nations want to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan for counter terrorism and training of Afghan personnel after U.S. forces formally withdraw at the end of this year.

The security deal is a condition for those soldiers to remain active in Afghanistan. Germany has some 3,200 soldiers deployed there as part of the NATO-led mission.

The U.S. director of national intelligence said earlier this week he did not believe Karzai would sign the deal. Karzai has previously suggested any security deal could wait until after April elections in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Noah Barkin)

FILED UNDER:

Economic Pulse

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage