NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged Afghanistan's government to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States as a matter of urgency.
Rasmussen warned that no troops and military equipment will be available in Afghanistan if the framework isn't in place from January 1, 2015.
He also noted signing the BSA is necessary in order for NATO to sign its own agreement with Kabul to regulate the NATO mission in the country beyond 2014.
Many of the provisions in this agreement will be the same as in the BSA.
Rasmussen declined to speculate about a fixed date when the signing must take place, though he noted that NATO will need some time to plan the mission, and countries contributing troops need to go through lengthy parliamentary and budgetary procedures before they can deploy personnel.