The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that the Afghanistan election result is important to give a legal framework to the continued presence of NATO troops.
G. Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed confidence that the NATO’s operation will begins with the new Afghan president signs the bilateral security agreement with Washington and NATO status of forces agreement.
NATO plans to leave behind a smaller force in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train and advise Afghan security forces. However, the alliance insists that the new Afghan president needs to sign the security agreements with Washington and NATO allowing foreign forces to stay.
“We should learn from Iraq’s situation and the training operation for Afghan forces should be continued.” Rasmussen added.
Meanwhile, U.S. and NATO officials have indicated that they would move ahead with a complete troop withdraw before December if the agreement is not finalized soon.
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said this week that the BSA cannot be postponed any further, and Afghanistan risks having no foreign troops or financial aid to support it after December if the deal is not signed soon.
The remarks by Rasmussen comes as there are concerns that announcement of the Afghan vote audit and final election result could be further delayed due to disputes among the presidential contenders over vote audit and formation of the unity government which was agreed during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan.