WH to Karzai: Sign agreement or lose aid

National security adviser Susan Rice on Monday warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai he risked losing foreign aid — and the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops  — by refusing to sign a deal allowing U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Rice told that Karzai that his insistence on waiting until the Afghan presidential elections next spring to sign a U.S.-Afghan security agreement was not viable, and that all U.S. and NATO troops could withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 if the pact wasn’t signed this year.

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The blunt message from Rice to Karzai — conveyed in an unusually sharply worded White House readout of their meeting in Kabul — underscored the anger from the administration at Karzai’s refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) that was reached earlier this month.

“The lack of a signed BSA would jeopardize NATO and other nations’ pledges of assistance made at the Chicago and Tokyo conferences in 2012,” the White House readout said.

“Ambassador Rice reiterated that, without a prompt signature, the U.S. would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no U.S. or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan.”

But Karzai did not yield any ground at the meeting, and instead he “outlined new conditions for signing the agreement and indicated he is not prepared to sign the BSA promptly,” according to the White House.

Karzai said over the weekend that he would not sign the agreement this year, even after a council of Afghan elders and leaders, the Loya Jirga, voted to endorse the agreement and urged him to sign it.

Karzai reiterated his stance at the conclusion of the four-day meeting.

“If there is no peace, then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan," he said, according to Reuters. "Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it."

U.S. officials have given Karzai a deadline of Dec. 31 to sign the accord.

Rice said at the meeting with Karzai that waiting until next year’s elections in the spring wasn’t viable because it would not provide the U.S. and NATO countries “the clarity necessary to plan for a potential post-2014 military presence.”

The agreement reached allows for U.S. and NATO forces to remain in Afghanistan through 2024 for primarily training and counterterrorism operations, but it does not detail how many troops would remain.