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Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen assures Afghanistan of NATO’s commitment

NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with President Karzai today to discuss NATO's long-term commitment to Afghanistan and the implementation of the Transition process.

As Transition is implemented, Afghans will take an increasing lead for security over the coming months, with the aim of reaching full responsibility for security throughout the country by the end of 2014. During this time, ISAF troops will move into a supporting role and continue their training and mentoring role.

General David Petraeus, the Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Ambassador Simon Gass, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative, were also in attendence.

During his meeting with President Karzai, the Secretary General emphasised, "Those who threaten Afghanistan’s future should be under no illusion – NATO is and remains committed to Afghanistan."

Following the meeting at a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Mr. Rassumen said, “My message to the enemies of Afghanistan is clear. If you continue on the road of violence, you will find no victory, only defeat. Now is the time to follow the road of peace. Cut ties to Al Qaeda and other terror networks; renounce violence; abide by Afghanistan's constitution.”

President Karzai also addressed those Afghans who are fighting with the Taliban, saying "The Afghan people will give them a chance to return to their homes and to participate in the stability and peace building and the reconstruction of Afghanistan."

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