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Obama tells Karzai U.S. will plan for 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that if the Bilateral Security Agreement remains unsigned, the U.S. will plan a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

By JC Finley
Obama tells Karzai U.S. will plan for 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan
U.S. President Barack Obama adjusts his translation earpiece as he listens to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai make a point during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 11, 2013. On February 25, 2014, Obama told Karzai that the U.S. would effect a full military withdrawal if Karzai failed to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement. (UPI/Pat Benic) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday regarding a range of topics, including the not-yet-signed Bilateral Security Agreement.

Obama told Karzai that due to the ongoing delays, it seemed unlikely the Afghan president was going to sign the BSA. Without a signed BSA, "the United States is moving forward with additional contingency planning" that includes ensuring the Pentagon can effect a full military withdrawal by the end of 2014.

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However, if Karzai goes forward with signing the BSA, Obama said the U.S. would plan for "a limited post-2014 mission focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces."

"However, the longer we go without a BSA, the more challenging it will be to plan and execute any U.S. mission. Furthermore, the longer we go without a BSA, the more likely it will be that any post-2014 U.S. mission will be smaller in scale and ambition."

According to the White House, the two leaders also discussed Afghanistan's upcoming elections and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation efforts.

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[White House]

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