NATO eyeing 'very fast' security deal with Afghanistan

NATO's top military commander said on Saturday the alliance was eyeing the rapid conclusion of security agreements with Afghanistan for its post-2014 mission in the country once a unity government is formed there.

AFP| Updated: Sep 21, 2014, 00:26 AM IST

Vilnius: NATO's top military commander said on Saturday the alliance was eyeing the rapid conclusion of security agreements with Afghanistan for its post-2014 mission in the country once a unity government is formed there.

"We are hoping for very fast signatures. And that would be important because it brings great stability to the conversation of our continued support," US General Philip Breedlove told reporters in Lithuania.

The general said he was "very hopeful" that the result of Afghanistan's disputed election will be declared tomorrow, adding that both candidates endorsed crucial security pacts that will allow NATO troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of this year.

"We've had fruitful conversations with both of the candidates. We believe that they are very, very close also to forming that unity government which we think is very important," Breedlove said.

The stalemate between presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah since the June 14 vote has plunged Afghanistan into a political crisis as US-led NATO troops end their 13-year war against the Taliban.

NATO's combat mission will end in December, with a follow-on force of about 12,000 troops likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.