After an intense public push to get Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States by the end of the year, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal that negotiations could spill over into 2014.
“It’s really up to President Karzai as to whether he’s ready to sign this,” said a senior administration official. “We’re ready. The Afghan people are ready. The ball is in their court.”
Though officials said that delaying the signing of the agreement could increase instability within Afghanistan’s military force, a senior U.S. official added that “things don’t fall off a cliff on Dec. 31.”
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., on Thursday wrote in a letter to President Obama that the public campaign to get the pact signed this year has sent the wrong message to Karzai about the dynamics of U.S.-Afghan relations.