BSA talks remain suspended: US



Washington: The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the United States and Afghanistan continues to be suspended, a US official has said hoping that the talks would resume soon and the two countries would be able to sign the agreement before the November deadline.

"My understanding is that they (BSA talks) are still suspended," the State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters here.

As the US President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai affirmed in January, an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region, he said.

"But they also agreed that a bilateral security agreement is in both countries' interests, in that same meeting, to maintain a post-2014 presence that is sustainable and that supports capable and effective Afghan National Security Forces," Ventrell said.

"So the US supports a peaceful, democratic, and united Afghanistan. We're committed to peace and reconciliation. And we remain prepared to negotiate with Afghanistan to conclude a BSA that supports our shared objectives," he said.

Started last November, the Bilateral Security Agreement would determine the future of the US presence in Afghanistan. Responding to questions, Ventrell said there is no new update on the talks between the US and the Taliban. "We want Afghans to sit down with Afghans and start talking about their future," he said.

PTI