U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says a partial agreement has been reached with Afghanistan on a security accord but the potentially deal-breaking issue of jurisdiction for American forces remains unresolved, the Associated Press reported.
Kerry told a news conference on Saturday that the future of U.S. forces in Afghanistan could not be agreed upon unless the issue of immunity for troops was solved.
“One issue that is outstanding [is] the issue of jurisdiction [immunity],” he said. “We need to say that if the issue of jurisdiction cannot be resolved, unfortunately there cannot be a bilateral security agreement,” Agence France-Presse reported.
Kerry extended his stay in Kabul to try to decide on a long-delayed security pact that would allow between 5,000 and 10,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan to combat al-Qaeda and train the national army.
President Hamid Karzai says that he will let a national council of elders and then parliament decide on the issue of who has jurisdiction for any crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014.
“The BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) has a lot of items, one is about immunity for foreign and U.S. soldiers - we didn’t have a united opinion on this issue,” he told reporters, according to AFP.
(With the Associated Press and AFP)