13 Oct 2013

Differences remain on Afghan-US security pact

11:03 am on 13 October 2013

The US and Afghanistan say they have resolved some disagreements on a bilateral security deal but differences remain.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan president Hamid Karzai held a two days of talks in Kabul on a bilateral security pact due to take effect next year.

President Karzai has failed to win security guarantees so that Afghanistan would be protected by US troops from attacks from outside. The US will not grant that as it could mire them in a war with Pakistan, the BBC reports.

But Mr Karzai appeared to have secured a US agreement not to carry out attacks on Afghan soil without first consulting the Afghan authorities, the BBC reports.

Mr Karzai said Afghanistan and the US were still divided over immunity for US soldiers who stay in Afghanistan after next year's NATO withdrawal.

While the exact terms partial bilateral security deal have not yet been revealed, the talks failed to resolve the contentious issue of who has jurisdiction for any crimes committed by US forces remaining in Afghanistan after 2014.

President Karzai said it would be considered later by a grand council of elders and then parliament.

But Mr Kerry said if no deal on the issue was reached, there would be no agreement to allow US troops to remain in the country after the NATO-led mission ended in 2014.

The failure to resolve this issue in Iraq led to a total withdrawal of US forces.