Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems to have stiffened his resolve not to sign a security pact with Washington, saying the US should leave the country unless it can restart peace talks with the Taliban.
Mr Karzai told a news conference, "In exchange for this agreement, we want peace for the people of Afghanistan. Otherwise, it's better for them to leave and our country will find its own way."
He said pressing ahead with talks with the Taliban was critical to ensure that Afghanistan was not left with a weak central government.
"Starting peace talks is a condition because we want to be confident that after the signing of the security agreement, Afghanistan will not be divided into fiefdoms," the president added.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suspended talks with the US on a security pact, accusing Washington of providing "inconsistent statements" on peace talks with the Taliban.
"In a special meeting chaired by President Hamid Karzai, the president has decided to suspend talks about a security pact with the US because of their inconsistent statements and actions in regard to the peace process", Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi told Reuters.
The US Embassy in Kabul said it was preparing a statement following the announcement.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai will travel to Qatar to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said today.
Karzai's trip, which is set to take place over the next few days, will be the first time an Afghan president has held peace talks with the Taliban in the sovereign Arab state.
The leader will also address the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar, which he has agreed to on the condition the Taliban ends its links with Al-Qaeda.
Karzai's trip comes after fractures in his relationship with Washington. He recently blasted US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for holding talks with the Taliban in Qatar without him and accused the US of reneging on a deal to release Afghan prisoners from a US detention centre in Bagram.
David Cameron has issued a direct appeal to the Taliban to enter peaceful talks on the future of Afghanistan after hosting talks at Chequers with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari today.
The Prime Minister said the two leaders had agreed "an unprecedented level of co-operation".
He said they had agreed to sign up to a strategic partnership between their two countries in the autumn.
At the same time, they also agreed to the opening of an office in the Qatari capital Doha for negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan High Peace Council.
Mr Cameron said the agreement should send a clear message to the Taliban.
"Now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful, political process in Afghanistan."
"This should lead to a future where all Afghans can participate peacefully in that country's political process."