Up to 15,000 foreign troops could stay in Afghanistan if pact is signed: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai gestures during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013. Up to 15,000 foreign troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if a security pact with the US is signed, President Ham
Afghan President Hamid Karzai gestures during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013. Up to 15,000 foreign troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if a security pact with the US is signed, President Hamid Karzai said, on Thursday, Nov 21, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

KABUL (AFP) - Up to 15,000 foreign troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if a security pact with the US is signed, President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday.

About 2,500 tribal chiefs, chieftains and dignitaries are gathered in Kabul for a four-day discussion of the bilateral security agreement with the US.

"If signed... 10,000 to 15,000 of their troops will stay. When I say 'their troops', I don't mean the Americans (alone)," Mr Karzai told delegates.

He said the force would include troops from other Nato members as well as "Turkey or some other Muslim nations". Turkey is a member of Nato.

Mr Karzai said he expected the agreement to lead to peace in his war-torn country.

"It must bring peace to Afghanistan. I'm aware that they (US) can bring peace, it's in their hands,"he said.