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NATO Chief Warns On Afghan Security Accord

Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivers a speech during the release of NATO's annual report at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, January 27, 2014
NATO’s chief is warning Afghanistan's government may fall short of funding for its military if the government does not promptly sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on January 27 it could be difficult for Afghanistan to raise foreign funds if all Western troops withdraw from the country later this year, as Washington has threatened if the agreement on a foreign troop presence after 2014 is not signed soon.

Rasmussen said funding Afghanistan’s 350,000 soldiers and police "goes well beyond the financial capacity" of Afghanistan’s government.

He warned that without Western troops in Afghanistan, it will be "extremely difficult to generate financial support" for sustaining Afghan security forces.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has so far declined to sign the agreement, insisting on concessions from Washington.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa