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Afghanistan and the United States have solved a key sticking point in a crucial security pact just two days before it was due to be voted on by Afghan tribal and political leaders, an Afghan official said Tuesday.
Aimal Faizi, President Hamid Karzai's spokesman, told reporters in Kabul that the deal would allow US troops to enter Afghan homes once Nato forces withdraw in 2014 but only in "extraordinary circumstances" where there was an urgent risk to life, ending an impasse which had threatened to derail the agreement.
Faizi said President Karzai and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone Tuesday during final negotiations for the bilateral security treaty (BSA) which will shape Washington's future military presence in the war-scarred nation.
Faizi said both sides had agreed to the "extraordinary exception" clause. He added that President Barack Obama would write to Karzai assuring him that US troops would not "misuse" the searches and that "those extraordinary circumstances would be strictly defined".
However officials in Washington said there were still some "final issues" to be decided.
"We're not there yet. There are still some final issues we are working through," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.