The United States expects that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will be signed by president-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmedzai in a matter of days after being sworn in next week.
“Given that there’s great consistency in terms of their commitment to do it and that it’s been fully negotiated, we expect it will be signed in a matter of days after the new administration starts,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
Over the last few weeks in their conversation with US leadership, both Ghani and Dr. Abdullah called the agreement a key part of their agendas, promising to sign it as soon as practical. No one suggested reopening the issues within the BSA.
The official said threats of violence had significantly receded and there had been broad Afghan endorsement of the government of national unity. He acknowledged President Hamid Karzai had played a key role in the elections process. “He continued to encourage the candidates to come to some resolution.”
Karzai had made clear he had no interest in staying as president, viewing transition from one elected government to another as an important part of Afghanistan’s future, the official continued.