Kerry: U.S., Afghanistan agree on security pact

4:19 PM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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)
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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.

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