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Afghanistan: Kerry, Rasmussen Expect Security Pact After Karzai Leaves


Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul earlier this month.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the next president of Afghanistan will sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) that will provide for U.S. soldiers to remain in the country after this year.

Kerry said in Washington that if it wasn't for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, "we would be on a different track today."

The U.S. has expressed it's unhappiness with Karzai's refusal to sign the BSA, which was negotiated last year.

Kerry said the majority of the Afghan presidential candidates have said they will sign it.

The election is April 5.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on February 26 that he also doesn't think Karzai will sign the agreement but "we continue planning for a deployment...assuming that a new [Afghan] president will sign [it]."

Written based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL Brussels correspondent Rikard Jozwiak
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