U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan on Friday to advance negotiations with President Hamid Karzai on a bilateral security pact, weeks before an October 31 deadline for an agreement.
The deal will determine the presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014.
U.S. officials, speaking en route to Kabul, emphasized that Kerry's
visit was not about trying to close a deal on a Bilateral Security
Agreement. Instead he would seek to build momentum for negotiators to
reach a deal after 11 months of talks, they said.
"This is not about Secretary Kerry coming in to close a deal," a
senior State Department official told reporters. "This is really about
us building momentum for the negotiators and helping establish
conditions for success of the negotiations going forward."