US special envoy: Afghan president still refuses to sign deal letting troops to stay past 2014

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The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan says Afghan President Hamid Karzai still refuses to sign a security deal with the United States until after next April's elections.

James Dobbins, who is on a regular visit to Kabul, told The Associated Press he met with Karzai on Thursday and mostly discussed reconciliation efforts with the Taliban — which Karzai says remain stuck because the insurgents don't want to talk.

Karzai last month tentatively endorsed a deal to allow thousands of U.S. and allied troops to remain after 2014, but refused to sign it after it was approved by a council of tribal elders. The U.S. wants it signed by the end of December.

Karzai maintains the decision should be left to his successor after the country's April 5 elections.