Rasmussen assures Karzai of continued support
“We will see Afghan troops and police take the lead for security across the country, as ISAF shifts its role from combat to support. That will mark an important milestone on the road to full Afghan security responsibility,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
While welcoming President Hamid Karzai at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, he said at a joint news briefing: “The goal that we have set together is now within reach. Afghan security forces are taking the initiative, and they are taking the fight to the enemy.”
NATO and its international partners, he said, would support Afghan security forces through 2014 and beyond, as agreed at the Chicago summit. “Today, ISAF ministers are setting out the means to ensure that our future funding mechanism for the Afghan National Army is transparent and accountable,” he said.
Rasmussen said planning for the new train, advise and assist mission was also underway. “A stable and secure Afghanistan is our shared goal,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, President Karzai said NATO should continue talks with his administration on a continued presence in Afghanistan.
He expressed his pleasure over progress in the security transition process, saying Afghan forces had the capability of defending their motherland.
Ahead of trilateral talks with Pakistani and US officials, the president also met Belgium’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister. Apart from bilateral cooperation, regional issues came up for discussion.
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