White House wants US-Afghan security pact approved by year's end

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the opening of the Loya Jirga, or grand council, in Kabul November 21, 2013. The White House objected to a plan by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai that the security deal not go into effect until aft
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the opening of the Loya Jirga, or grand council, in Kabul November 21, 2013. The White House objected to a plan by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai that the security deal not go into effect until after next year's elections. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama wants a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan approved and signed by the end of the year by the Afghan government and not delayed until April, the White House said on Thursday.

The White House objected to a plan by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai that the security deal not go into effect until after next year's elections.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters it is important for the Afghan government to "get this agreement signed and approved by the end of this year."

US troops are to withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and both governments are discussing what security arrangement will be in place afterward.