U.S.-Afghan agreement expected by October, U.S. ambassador says

July 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 29 (UPI) -- James Cunningham, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said Monday he expects a bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington to be signed by October.

Cunningham added the security cooperation, and presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, is directly linked to the agreement.

U.S. officials have insisted on finalizing the agreement as soon as possible, although the Afghan government has downplayed deadlines and said it is in no position to hurry, the Afghan news agency Khaama Press reported.

Speaking in Kabul, Cunningham noted the security agreement, once signed, will pave the way for other agreements between the Afghan government and other NATO member countries.

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