Afghanistan president to visit Iran on Sunday

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to travel to Iran on Sunday to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani and senior Iranian officials.

During his visit the Afghan president is slated to meet and hold talks with Iranian officials on bilateral relations as well as regional issues.

There has been speculation that one of the topics of discussion will be the bilateral security agreement between the US and Afghanistan which Iran believes will have negative consequences for the region if signed.

The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) allows the US to keep thousands of its troops in Afghanistan beyond the original 2014 withdrawal date. It will also grant legal immunity to those American soldiers who remain in Afghanistan.

The deal has already been approved by the Grand Council of Afghanistan, Loya Jirga, comprised of Afghan tribal elders and other leaders. However, Kabul says the pact must wait until after next year’s presidential election, even if it is approved by the Loya Jirga and the parliament.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Kabul on Saturday, to hold talks with Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and Interior Minister Umer Daudzai, Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog, said.

A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hagel did not expect to meet Karzai amid the dispute over his refusal to sign the security pact with Washington.

By Press TV


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