NATO Secretary General welcomes Afghan transition announcement
I welcome President Karzai’s announcement of the fourth group of Afghan provinces, cities and districts to undergo transition in the coming months. With this decision, the Afghan security forces will be taking the lead for security for 87% of the Afghan population and 23 of the 34 Afghan provinces.
This is a significant step towards our shared goal of seeing Afghans fully in charge of their own security by the end of 2014. It is the result of the progress we have made together, and thanks to the courage and resolve of the Afghan people, the Afghan forces and our ISAF troops and trainers. The Afghan army and police are steadily growing in capacity and confidence. They already lead the vast majority of operations, are responsible for most of the training, and are highly trusted by the Afghan people.
We will continue to support our Afghan partners throughout the transition process. After our combat mission is completed at the end of 2014, we will remain committed to Afghanistan, with a new mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces, which we are currently planning.