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Afghan council endorses US security deal, seeks immediate signing

Afghan delegates walk through the grounds of the loya jirga premises during discussions on the Bilateral Security Agreement in Kabul on November 22, 2013
Afghan delegates walk through the grounds of the loya jirga in Kabul on November 22, 2013

An Afghan grand assembly of tribal chieftains and elders Sunday endorsed a major security pact with the United States and called on President Hamid Karzai to sign the deal immediately.

Karzai had said the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) governing the US military role in Afghanistan beyond 2014 would have to wait until after next year's presidential election.

"Given the current situation in, and Afghanistan's need... the contents of this agreement as a whole is endorsed by the members of this Loya Jirga," Fazul Karim Imaq, a deputy of the loya jirga said, reading a declaration reached at the end of the four-day grand meeting.

"The loya jirga requests the president to sign the agreement before the end of 2013," Imaq said.

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