Afghan-U.S. security pact in limbo day before crucial Kabul debate

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The last-minute politicking between Kabul and Washington provoked frustration among Afghan elders who braved perilous journeys to the Afghan capital from remote provinces for a grand assembly to debate the pact. "What is happening with the security pact is very confusing for us," said Abdul Hanan, a senator from the eastern province of Paktia, who will attend the gathering. Last-ditch efforts to finalize the pact stalled on Tuesday over differences over whether President Barack Obama had agreed to issue a letter acknowledging mistakes made during the 12-year Afghan war. The Afghan government said it received assurances that an Obama letter would be provided this week to the grand council of Afghan elders, known as a Loya Jirga, which will consider the pact.