The United States and Afghanistan have been negotiating terms of a bilateral security agreement since last November. The agreement would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan, after thirteen years of war there.
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Afghanistan, in a surprise emergency visit to hash out a deal.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrived in Kabul Friday on an unannounced visit in an effort to convince Karzai that the administration is serious.Secretary Kerry's previous surprise emergency visit to hash out a deal had been in March.
“October 31st is our goal,” a senior administration official said. “The president has been clear. There can be no reason” for failure “other than the fact that the Afghans don’t want what we’re offering.”
US secretary of state John Kerry made a surprise visit to Kabul hours after the US military handed over a disputed prison to Afghan control, reviving hopes that the often fractious allies may be able to smooth ties ahead of a crucial election and the departure of Nato troops.Today, Washington Post reports, the U.S. and Afghanistan have reached a draft agreement.
Kerry, who has a long – and, by US standards – unusually positive relationship with Karzai, said he was "on the same page" as the Afghan leader when it came to peace talks with the Taliban, and added that he was impressed by Afghan efforts to ensure a "safe, secure" presidential vote next spring.
John Kerry 'on same page' as Karzai over peace talks with Taliban, Guardian, March 25, 2013
If the draft agreement becomes an agreement, U.S. troops may remain in Afghanistan after thirteen years of war.
The United States and Afghanistan agreed Saturday on a draft deal that would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan after next year, but only if Afghan political and tribal leaders agree to a key U.S. demand that American troops not be subject to Afghan law, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.The question will be put to a loya jirga.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the framework security agreement meets his demands regarding counterterrorism operations on Afghan soil and respects Afghan sovereignty. The U.S. demand to retain legal jurisdiction over all remaining U.S. forces will be put before a loya jirga, Karzai said. He plans to convene the Afghan tribal consultation body next month.
So it depends on how the jirga is jiggered.
Immunity of U.S. troops from prosecution has been a major sticking point all along.
This part is still to be worked out.
Making the announcement on Saturday evening after nearly 24 hours of talks and meetings, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Karzai said one major issue remained — legal jurisdiction, or immunity from prosecution under Afghan law, for American troops who remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
Talks on Afghanistan Yield Deal for U.S. Troops to Stay, New York Times