BRUSSELS, June 18 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday that NATO forces will no longer plan, execute or lead combat operations in Afghanistan.
The remarks came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced at a ceremony in Kabul that his country's security forces are taking over the lead for security nationwide from the NATO coalition.
"This decision marks an important milestone. As Afghan forces step forward, ISAF's role will shift from combat to support. We will no longer plan, execute or lead combat operations," Rasmussen said in a statement.
Around 97,000 troops from NATO countries and its partners are stationed in Afghantain. NATO has decided to withdraw all combat troops from the Central Asia country by the end of 2014 and leave a much smaller force behind for a new mission.
Called "Resolute Support," Rasmussen said the goal of the new mission "is to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces."
"NATO and Afghanistan, along with our partners, will continue this journey together, based on a new relationship that will remain strong for the years to come," he said.
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"That concept will guide our military experts as they finalize the plan, in the course of the coming months," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a two-day gathering of NATO defense ministers.Full story
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"NATO will remain committed to Afghanistan. NATO will not abandon Afghanistan. NATO will have a long term friendship with Afghanistan," Dominic Medley told journalists at a press briefing here.Full story
EU extends police mission in Afghanistan
BRUSSELS, May 27 (Xinhua) --The EU on Monday extended the bloc's police mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2014 and allocated an additional budget of 108 million euros (140.4 million U.S. dollars).
The mission, which was set up in 2007, aims to help the Afghan authorities to develop their civilian policing capacities.Full story