Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the United States Review on Afghanistan and Pakistan
I welcome the release today of the United States’ annual review on Afghanistan and Pakistan. It builds on the decisions on Afghanistan that NATO Allies and Partners took at our summit in Lisbon.<!IoRangePreExecute>
The review shows progress in Afghanistan. Our strategy is sound and we have in place the necessary resources to accomplish it. Now we have to consolidate those gains and make them irreversible. This is a challenging task, but we are determined to see it through. In the years to come, we will keep up efforts to support the Afghan government as it extends its authority throughout the country. We will continue to train Afghan forces so they can provide security for the Afghan people.
Our roadmap are the agreements we made at the Lisbon Summit. We are gradually creating the conditions to enable Afghan forces to take lead for security across the country by the end of 2014, with ISAF forces moving into a supporting role. And, as the long-term partnership that President Karzai and I signed at Lisbon demonstrates, our commitment to Afghanistan will continue well beyond 2014. NATO will also remain engaged with Pakistan, which is playing a critical role in bringing stability to the region.
NATO is in Afghanistan under a United Nations mandate and at the invitation of the Afghan government. We are there because our own security depends upon it. As we look back on 2010, we see that we have made hard-fought progress. In 2011, all NATO Allies and their Partners in ISAF will continue to work together to make Afghanistan – and our own nations -- safer.