New York – Ranking Member Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the Afghan Loya Jirga’s decision to approve the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement.

“The Loya Jirga's approval of the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement affirms the Afghan people's desire to have a long term partnership with the United States. However, I remain deeply concerned by President Karzai's attempts to seek additional assurances from the United States before finalizing the agreement. The future of the U.S.-Afghan relationship is being placed at risk by these needless theatrics. I urge President Karzai to heed the Jirga's recommendations and sign the Bilateral Security Agreement without further delay.”