BRUSSELS, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Afghanistan will be on its own on national security if it doesn't sign off on security agreements, the NATO secretary-general said Thursday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai -- who cannot run for re-election due to term limits -- said he would leave a bilateral status of forces agreement with the United States to whoever replaces him after April elections.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday during a conference with NATO defense ministers Karzai's decision could jeopardize Afghanistan's future.
"Without the necessary legal framework, there simply cannot be a deployment after 2014," he said in a statement. "No security agreement. No troops and trainers. These are the hard facts."
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone Tuesday with Karzai, saying it was "unlikely" both sides would sign a bilateral security agreement defining post-2014 military options.
Future military operations may involve training, advising and assisting Afghan forces as they work to take on more national security responsibilities.
Endangering those options, Rasmussen said, "is not the outcome that we think is in the interest of the Afghan people."