World Bulletin/News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make swift progress in the long delayed security deals with the US and NATO to secure Germany’s continued military support after 2014, Spiegel Online reported on Thursday.
German Chancellor told Karzai in a phone conversation on Wednesday afternoon that Afghanistan’s timely conclusion of the key bilateral security agreement with the US and Status of Forces Agreement with NATO were important for the continuation of the German army's (Bundeswehr) mission.
Karzai told Merkel according to German press reports that he is willing to sign the bilateral security agreement with the US but Washington should first give guarantees and address the conditions put forward by the Afghan government. He stressed that US should initiate a peace process with the Taliban and foreign troops should stop military operations in Afghan villages.
German diplomatic sources have confirmed the telephone conversation between the two leaders but declined to comment on the response of Karzai on Merkel’s call for the swift conclusion of the security agreements.
The German army will end its combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 but Berlin is planning to support the Afghan government with stationing a limited number of troops which will focus on the training of Afghan military personnel. German troops will operate under NATO command.
Late last year, NATO started negotiations with the Afghan government on the Status of Forces Agreement, which will provide the legal framework for the NATO-led “Resolute Support” mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces after 2014.
The NATO Status of Forces Agreement will not be concluded or signed until the signature of the Bilateral Security Agreement between the governments of Afghanistan and the United States.
The disagreements between Afghan President Karzai and the US administration has delayed the signature of the bilateral security agreement and the recent US military operations in eastern Afghanistan have further increased tensions between Kabul and Washington. Karzai accused American troops on Wednesday of killing eight civilians, including seven children, during this operation.
Karzai told Merkel that these operations should definitely stop, before his administration can move forward for the signature of the key security agreement with the US, German press reports said.Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2014, 16:29