KABUL, Afghanistan – A spokesman for Afghanistan's president says Hamid Karzai will press a council of elders to delay signing a security deal with the United States until next year.
Aimail Faizi said Sunday Karzai will press his case for a delay in signing until after next April's elections in a speech to close a four-day meeting of 2,500 Afghan tribal elders and other regional leaders known as a Loya Jirga. Karzai convened the council, saying Afghanistan would likely not sign without its approval.
President Barak Obama's administration has said it wants a deal signed by the end of the year and warned that planning for a post-2014 military presence may be jeopardized if it is not approved by Karzai.
The deal could keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another decade.