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April 19, 2014

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NATO head: Afghan security pact after elections

Updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 12:52 p.m.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — NATO's secretary general says he believes Afghan President Hamid Karzai will not sign a long-stalled security pact with the United States allowing American troops to remain in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, and will leave it to his successor after April elections.

The U.S. is the largest contributor of troops to the NATO military coalition in Afghanistan. The international forces' mandate expires at the end of the year, and the U.S. and NATO have been negotiating agreements on maintaining some troops in Afghanistan to train and support Afghan security forces.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday night that although NATO envisaged signing a separate pact with Kabul, it would not be finalized unless Afghanistan also signed the bilateral security agreement with the U.S.