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    US to help Afghanistan control its borders: Obama

    WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States would support the government of Afghanistan to protect its sovereignty and effectively control its borders, President Barack Obama promised on Friday.             

    Obama held out the promise at a joint media availability with visiting Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The two leaders discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.

    “We are going to be consulting with not only Denmark but our other allies in making sure that is a smooth transition and one that is sustained, where we continue to help the Afghan government support its own sovereignty and effectively control its borders,” Obama said.

    In preparation for the meeting in Chicago, they talked about the transition that was already agreed to in Lisbon, when it came to putting Afghans in the lead in security over the next several years, added the president.

    The Danish prime minister said one of the major issues in Chicago would be transition to the next phase in Afghanistan. “What we want to see is Afghans taking responsibility for their own security. 

    “And we are, in Europe, with all the Danish leadership, trying to gather donors in this -- in ensuring that the Afghans are capable of taking over their own security,” the visiting premier remarked.

    Denmark is a key contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, currently providing 650 combat troops operating without national caveats in one of the most challenging areas of Afghanistan. 

    “Denmark will continue to play a strong role in Helmand province, providing military forces through 2014 and other training and development assets beyond that date. Since 2002, it has given approximately $530 million in bilateral development assistance to Afghanistan,” said a White House factsheet.

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