NEWPORT, Wales – NATO's secretary general warns that time is short for Afghan leaders to resolve their presidential election and sign a security agreement so allied troops can remain in the country after the end of the year.
Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (AHN'-derz fohg RAHS'-moo-sihn) says NATO nations stand ready to give assistance and funding to Afghanistan, but final decisions can't be made until the political stalemate ends.
Rasmussen spoke at the end of a session on Afghanistan at the NATO summit here.
Because the presidential election is not final Afghanistan's defense minister represented his country Afghanistan at the summit. He reassured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a meeting Thursday that both presidential candidates continue to support the security agreement. Outgoing President Hamid Karzai and the two candidates did not attend.