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The U.S. envoy to Afghanistan has warned the Obama administration in a classified cable: Don’t hold your breath for Karzai to sign the long term security deal anytime soon, the Washington Post reports.

The classified cable sent by the U.S. envoy Ambassador James Cunningham has diplomatic and military communities buzzing as time is running out for the U.S. and Afghanistan to reach a deal on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).

The cable from the chief U.S. negotiator warned administration officials that efforts to persuade Karzai to sign the deal are likely to fail, according to the Washington Post.

If a deal is not reached soon, it could lead to a messy U.S. withdrawal at the end of the year. The White House said this week that the security agreement must be signed within “weeks, not months.”

Karzai has been running out the clock for months as the two nations acrimoniously struggle to iron out their differences. Issues of contention have ranged from the conduct of special-operations forces to the handover of Afghan prisoners in U.S. custody in the Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay.