Hagel in Kabul amid crisis over vital U.S., Afghan security pact

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By David Alexander KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan for a weekend visit on Saturday but had no plans to meet President Hamid Karzai amid tensions over his refusal to sign a deal governing the post-2014 U.S. military presence, a senior U.S. official said. Hagel was expected to visit U.S. and international troops across the country and to hold talks with Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and Interior Minister Umer Daudzai, a Pentagon spokesman, Carl Woog, said in a statement. A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hagel did not expect to meet Karzai amid the dispute over his refusal to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) recently endorsed by a loya jirga, an assembly of tribal elders and politicians. "The United States has made its position on the BSA clear," the official said.