Kerry Says Deal Reached To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Pushes back against reports that a Karzai official pushed the U.S. to acknowledge military mistakes

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. has struck a deal with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the final language of a security agreement that will keep American troops in Afghanistan after NATO’s combat mission ends next year.

Kerry said Karzai did not ask that the U.S. publicly acknowledge military mistakes during its long engagement in the country, the Associated Press reports, contradicting statements by a Karzai official on Tuesday that such a request had been made and that the White House was poised to assent.

The agreement still has to win the endorsement of the traditional council of 3,000 prominent Afghans, and the approval of the council is not at all certain when it considers the agreement Thursday. The council has wide latitude to reshape the agreement by revising the draft, rejecting specific clauses or rejecting it outright, which would likely prevent the Afghan government from signing it.