The United States also warned that such a move by Kabul would make things uncertain.
    
"At this point, we've made our position clear, and so have the Afghan people. Signing the BSA soon is the path forward, as we've said many times, to sustaining a partnership between the United States and Afghanistan to support Afghans in achieving lasting peace, security and development," the State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
    
"Deferring the signature of the agreement until after next year's election is not viable. It would not provide Afghans with the certainty they deserve regarding their future in the critical months leading to the elections, nor to provide the United States and NATO allies the clarity necessary for a potential post-2014 military presence," Psaki said in response to a question.
    
This is the message that is being conveyed by the US to the Afghan leadership, she said.
    
Afghanistan and the transition, she said, would be the major topic of discussion when US Secretary of State John Kerry attends the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels later this week.
    
"Obviously, Afghanistan and the ongoing presence there post-2014 of the United States and of NATO will certainly be a big topic of discussion," she said.
    
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said after the US inks BSA with Afghanistan, there would be a SOFA (Status of the Forces Agreement) signed between NATO and Afghanistan. It is only after this that US President Barack Obama would determine on the number of US troops in Afghanistan post 2014.
    
"The US would sign the BSA with Afghanistan. NATO would sign the Afghanistan-NATO SOFA," a Pentagon official said on condition of anonymity.
    
The Pentagon official clarified after its spokesperson told reporters earlier in the day that SOFA would have to be signed after BSA with Afghanistan.
    
"BSA has to get signed. And then once the BSA is [signed], and then we can begin discussions and finalization of the SOFA agreement. They're two separate things.  And then once the SOFA agreement is settled, we're then able to begin dealing with troop numbers," the Pentagon spokesman US Army Col Steve Warren said.
    
"So there's a series of things that have to happen, and so it's a chain of events. And the longer we wait,  and each one of these links in the chain, if you will, is, of course, going to take time," Warren told reporters.

(Agencies)

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