Kerry in Afghanistan for urgent security talks
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AP) - The future of United States involvement in Afghanistan after the last troops leave at the end of 2014 may depend on whether US officials like Secretary of State John Kerry can allay Afghan President Hamid Karzai's worries about sovereignty, Pakistan and the safety of Afghan citizens at the hands of Western troops.
Mr Kerry began urgent talks Friday with Mr Karzai as an end-of-October deadline loomed for a security deal that would allow American troops to remain in Afghanistan after the NATO-led military mission ends next year.
Mr Kerry's unannounced visit to Kabul comes as talks on the bilateral security agreement have foundered over issues of Afghan sovereignty despite a year of negotiations.
Discussions have stalled over Mr Karzai's demand for American guarantees against future foreign intervention from countries like Pakistan and US demands for any post-2014 residual force to be able to conduct counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations.