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Transition of responsibility to Afghan forces in 2011 depends on conditions: Mullen

07-26-2010 08:24 BJT

KABUL, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States and other allies will begin the process of transition of security responsibilities to Afghan National Security Forces but it will completely depend on conditions on the ground, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said here Sunday.

"In July 2011, we will begin a process of transition to Afghan Security Forces, but whether that will happen, how much of it will happen, will be completely depended on conditions on the ground," Mullen told a press conference here.

He further stressed that it is too early to make comment on the process.

"We don't know how many, we don't know where and we won't know, I don't think until of the next year, it is still early to make comment on that regard," he told a query when asked when and where the process will begin.

"American's military mission in Afghanistan will not end in July of 2011," said the highest ranking official of U.S. military.

No one is looking for the door out of Afghanistan or this region, he said.

In his opening remarks, he said that, "United States is still determined to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Taliban, al-Qaeda and their extremist allies and to prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a safe haven for them again."

"What we are after-in concert with our Afghan, NATO and regional partners- is a secure and stable Afghanistan that can defend itself, provide for itself and its citizens and contribute to the economic betterment of the region," Admiral Mullen emphasized.

He made these remarks after meeting with the newly appointed top U.S. and NATO commander Gen. David Petraeus and visiting troops in Afghanistan.

"We are, in fact, making slow but steady progress toward out goals," the top U.S. commander added.

"Counterinsurgency fights have ups and downs, setbacks and steps forward," he said, adding, "But I am, to be frank, more optimistic than I have been in the past."

On the same day when Mullen toured Afghanistan, Taliban militants attacked police checkpoints and overrun Barg-e-Matal district in the county's eastern Nuristan province; while two days earlier on Friday the militants claimed capturing two U.S. soldiers in Logar province 60 km south of Afghan capital Kabul.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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