You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Afghan political uncertainty clouds NATO summit

Sep. 4, 2014 - 03:36PM   |  
A ceremony honors NATO military personnel for service in operational theatres of the Alliance at the Sept. 4 summit in Wales.
A ceremony honors NATO military personnel for service in operational theatres of the Alliance at the Sept. 4 summit in Wales. (NATO)
  • Filed Under

NEWPORT, WALES — Time is short for Afghan leaders to resolve their presidential election and sign a security agreement so allied troops can remain in the country after the end of the year, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Thursday.

Speaking on the opening day of the NATO summit, Rasmussen said that allied nations stand ready to commit to assisting and funding Afghanistan, but final decisions can’t be made until the political stalemate is over.

The April 6 voting to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai resulted in a runoff between former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

Both candidates pulled their observers out of a ballot audit meant to determine the winner, and the final results of the audit are expected sometime next week. Until a president is elected, the U.S. and other countries do not have a security agreement finalized to protect foreign troops in Afghanistan after combat ends Dec. 31.

Without a signature on the security agreement, Rasmussen said, “there can be no mission. Although our military commanders have shown great flexibility in their planning, time is short. The sooner the legal framework is in place, the better.”

Rasmussen spoke at the end of a summit session on Afghanistan.

Because the presidential election is not final, the Afghan defense minister, Gen. Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, represented his country at the summit. Mohammadi reassured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a meeting Thursday that both presidential candidates continue to support the security agreement. Outgoing President Hamid Karzai and the two candidates did not attend the NATO meetings.

The two candidates sent a message to NATO, Rasmussen said, indicating “that they will do all they can to reach a political agreement.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

First sergeant vs. master sergeant
Choose the rank that's best for your career

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook