U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes off in a Blackhawk helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan, after arriving on an unannounced visit to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Oct. 11, 2013.
(Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John Kerry said he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed on terms for a security agreement that would allow an American military presence after 2014 when most coalition troops leave the country.
Still, the agreement will be reviewed by a loya jirga, or council, that Karzai has convened this week. The council could raise objections or comments that might delay or even prevent a signing.
The so-called bilateral security agreement provides the U.S. military jurisdiction for its forces, a critical requirement before the United States would agree to an American presence when the current mission there ends at the end of 2014.
The United States has said the post-2014 mission will include advisers for Afghanistan's young military and a counter-terrorism force that would be authorized to target al-Qaeda and its affiliates.