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Afghan President 'Won't Be Intimidated' Into Security Pact

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Indian President Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on December 13
President Hamid Karzai says he won’t be intimidated into signing a pact setting out the terms for thousands of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, when foreign combat forces are scheduled to have withdrawn.

Karzai, speaking to Indian NDTV, said he wants assurances that the Bilateral Security Agreement will bring peace and security.

Karzai has previously said he could sign the agreement after Afghanistan’s presidential elections in April.

The United States has urged him to sign immediately, saying it needs to plan for the future.

Washington has said it hopes India can persuade Karzai to sign.

Indian military aid to Afghanistan and efforts to prevent a Taliban return to power are expected to be discussed during Karzai’s talks on December 13 with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Based on reporting by AFP