US-Afghan officials near a deal hat would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014

October 12, 2013 7:50:49 PM PDT
The U.S. and Afghanistan have reached an agreement in principle on the major elements of a deal that would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014.

Still to be resolved is the potentially deal-breaking issue of jurisdiction over those forces.

U.S. officials traveling with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry say the deal negotiated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets all American conditions. They say that all that remains is for Karzai to win political approval for it from a national consultative assembly of tribal elders and the Afghan parliament.

The officials say Kerry frequently spoke by phone to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and national security adviser Susan Rice. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the agreement by name.

The U.S. wants to keep as many as 10,000 troops in Afghanistan to go after al-Qaida. About 52,000 U.S. troops are there now.

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