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Obama welcomes Afghan security transition

05-14-2012 09:23 BJT

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday welcomed the security transition that took place in Afghanistan earlier in the day, saying world leaders will demonstrate their support for Afghanistan beyond 2014 in the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.

The White House on Sunday evening put out a statement saying Obama welcomes Afghan President Hamid Karzai's announcement earlier in the day of the third tranche of areas to transition to Afghan security lead, saying the step is "an important step forward in our effort to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."

Obama said as transition proceeds in these areas, nearly 75 percent of the population of Afghanistan will be living in provinces, districts and villages where Afghan forces are leading, while the Afghan National Security Forces are strengthening their capacity as the U.S. and its NATO allies are on track to transfer full security responsibility to the Afghan side by the end of 2014.

Obama also mentioned the upcoming NATO summit next week in Chicago, saying leaders will discuss "how we can effectively advance the transition process as our forces move from combat to a support role, and demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan Government and Afghan National Security Forces." He said he looks forward to meeting with Karzai in Chicago to "discuss these critical steps that will strengthen Afghan sovereignty while responsibly winding down the war."

An Afghan presidential spokesman on Sunday said the government of Afghanistan would soon begin the third phase of security transition from NATO-led troops to the national security force, with the Afghan side taking full control of Uruzgan, Kapisa and Parwan provinces and 122 districts throughout the country.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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