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Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign a new bilateral security agreement that would keep some U.S. troops in country past the 2014 withdrawal date. Karzai says wants to the U.S. to first do more towards bringing about stability in his country.

On Sunday, the Loya Jirga, the grand council of Afghan tribal leaders, voted to accept the security agreement.  Endorsement from the Loya Jirga, selected by the Karzai administration, was expected.  However, Karzai says he won't sign any deal until Afghanistan has elected a new president in March, assuming he stays in power as president.  "If there is no peace then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan," Karzai said on Sunday in his closing remarks to the Loya Jirga. "Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it."

The U.S. has repeatedly stated it will not wait for a peace deal past the end of this year.  In a statement, the White House said, "Without a prompt signature, the U.S. would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no U.S. or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan."

American troops would remain in Afghanistan primarily to train and mentor government security forces to fight off a Taliban insurgency. 





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