In Kabul, NATO Secretary General relays message of Alliance commitment to Afghanistan
The Alliance will stay committed to Afghanistan after its ISAF combat mission ends at the end of 2014, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday 4 March after talks with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. "Let there be no doubt: our commitment is certain, to the end of transition and beyond it. NATO will stand by you," the Secretary General said.
He said work to establish a new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014 is taking shape. “That mission will be called Resolute Support, because our support for Afghanistan remains steadfast,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said at a joint press conference with President Karzai.
The Secretary General is on a visit to Afghanistan to take stock of the ISAF mission and the transition to Afghan security responsibility. He said the transition, which began two years ago, is making steady progress. “Two years ago the Afghan forces were only in the lead in the Kabul area. Now they are taking the lead in areas where 87% of Afghans live,” said the Secretary General.
He said that in a matter of months Afghanistan will reach an important milestone, when Afghan security forces will assume lead responsibility for combat operations across the country. “This is a great responsibility, but Afghanistan’s forces have shown they can rise to the challenge and they will continue to have our support,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.
The Secretary General also met Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Rassoul and National Security Adviser Dr. Spanta, as well as with a group of young Afghan leaders from across the country to discuss the future of Afghanistan.