Negotiator Sees No Hope for Afghan Deal by Deadline

Relations worsen as US accidentally kills 4-year-old child
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2014 8:44 AM CST
Negotiator Sees No Hope for Afghan Deal by Deadline
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks as he addresses media representatives during a press interaction in New Delhi, India, Dec. 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Findlay Kember, Pool)

The US isn't going to get the security deal it wants in Afghanistan on the timetable that it wants it in, the Obama administration's top negotiator has privately warned Washington. In a classified cable, Ambassador James Cunningham said that Hamid Karzai would likely stick to his on-again off-again promise not to sign anything until after April's elections, sources tell the Washington Post. The US has been warning that if a deal isn't signed sooner, it will pull all its troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.

"We're talking about weeks and not months," Jay Carney said this week. "The clock is ticking." John Kerry thought he had a deal in November, before Karzai changed his mind and issued new demands. Yesterday the Afghan president angered the US by releasing dozens of detainees. US forces made matters worse by accidentally shooting a 4-year-old Afghan boy to death on Wednesday, Afghan officials said today. In response a Karzai spokesperson said they were calling "for an absolute end to ISAF/NATO military operations on homes and villages," Reuters reports. It's sadly not the first time the US has accidentally killed a child there in recent months, either. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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