DEFENCE – AFGHANISTAN – 10 February 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Secretary of State see any connection between the reluctance of the Afghan Government to sign the very important future security agreement and the sort of negotiations that they may be having with the Taliban?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Hammond): It is possible that the considerations in play in the Afghan President’s calculations on the bilateral security agreement involve negotiations that may or may not be happening, and that may or may not be visible to us, with elements of the insurgency. It is also possible that the situation is influenced by the impending presidential election and the politics of that.]