U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted by Amb. James B. Cunningham and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford , after arriving on Dec. 7, 2013 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Secretary of Defense Hagel in Afghanistan
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Afghanistan's defense minister on Saturday, who gave him assurances that a security agreement with the U.S. will be signed shortly.
The AP reports that Hagel spoke with reporters after his meeting with Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, but said he had no plans to meet with President Hamid Karzai.
While Karzai initially endorsed the agreement, which would allow U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2014 to conduct training and counterterrorism operations, the Afghan President now says he wants his successor to decide on the pact after elections in April.
U.S. officials have been adamant that they need the deal signed before January, or will have to start planning for alternatives.
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