Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani met with the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Kabul on Sunday and spoke about the Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).
Mr. Osmani said that talks over the BSA are ongoing between Kabul and Washington.
“Without a doubt, the President will sign the security agreement and is interested in signing it before the elections,” he said.
Despite a 2,500-person Loya Jirga – convened by President Hamid Karzai – approving the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) back in November, Karzai has refused to sign the agreement until the U.S. meets certain preconditions. He has demanded the U.S. help kickstart Taliban peace talks and end unilateral operations on Afghan homes.
Steinmeier said the agreement, which many in Afghanistan and abroad think is critical for the country’s wellbeing, must be signed soon.
“The BSA needs to be signed immediately so we can convince our Parliament and people,” he said regarding continued military support for Afghanistan.
The German Minister landed in Mazar-i-Sharif on a surprise visit to see German troops. He comended the troops while also assuring continued support for Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission ends in December. It was his first trip to Afghanistan since becoming Foreign Minister.
There are around 3,100 German troops in Afghanistan and most of them are based in north. Germany is expected to offer a contingent of 600 to 800 troops for the post-2014 NATO mission.