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Published: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 3:36:01 AM
Updated: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 3:36:57 AM

White House: deadline for Afghan security pact could slip into January

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai listens to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Kabul November 30, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai listens to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Kabul November 30, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House would like Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement by the end of the year, but the deadline could slip into early January, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

"If you're asking, 'Does that mean that if they sign it on January 10th, that's going to be a huge problem?' Probably not," said Josh Earnest, a deputy spokesman for the White House.

"What will be a significant problem is if there is not quick action taken to get this signed," Earnest told reporters at a briefing.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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