Afghans break off talks with US on security deal

Kabul, June 19 (IANS) The Afghan government Wednesday said it has suspended talks with the US on the proposed security agreement, saying America has a contradictory stance over the peace process in the country.

“The ongoing fourth round of talks between Afghanistan and the US on the security agreement is suspended. The decision was taken because of US inconsistency in statements and actions in regard to the Afghan peace process,” the local TV channel TOLO cited a statement by the Afghan National Security Council as saying.

The announcement came just a day after the Taliban opened a political office in Qatari capital Doha for talks with the US.

Washington and Kabul signed the US-Afghanistan Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement in May 2012.

The two countries began talks on the proposed “Bilateral Security Agreement” late last year.

The BSA, if signed, would guarantee the presence of the US military at least for several years in Afghanistan, a contentious issue that has been opposed by some circles at home and in neighbouring states.

American and NATO troops Tuesday transferred control of 95 remaining districts to Afghan security forces, completing a transition process that started in 2011 and paving the way for a full withdrawal of coalition forces by the end of 2014.

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