President Hamid Karzai is unlikely to sign a pact for U.S. and NATO forces to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 and will probably leave the choice for his successor, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Saturday. . . .
Karzai has served two terms and cannot run again.
“I think, realistically speaking, a new president will be the one to sign,” Rasmussen told reporters during the annual Munich Security Conference.
He said however he was confident that Afghanistan would sign the agreement “at the end of the day” and NATO would still have time to plan its post-2014 mission, even if it was not signed until Karzai’s successor was in office.
“Most probably, it will be for a new president to sign a security agreement and in that case we are prepared to stay after 2014,” Rasmussen said.
“If we don’t get a signature even from a new president, then we will also be prepared to withdraw everything by the end of 2014, because in that case we don’t have a legal basis for a continued presence,” he said.