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Afghan president to announce second phase of security transition: NATO

(Xinhua)

08:44, September 06, 2011

KABUL, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai is to announce in coming weeks the second areas where Afghan National Security forces (ANSF) will take over full control from NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO spokesman said on Monday.

"The NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Simon Gass along with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) is working in partnership with the Afghan Transition Coordination Commission, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, to determine the next areas suitable for transition," Christopher Chambers the NATO's civilian spokesman in Afghanistan told reporters at a joint press conference with ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson here.

In about two weeks, the Joint Afghan NATO Transition Board, co- chaired by Dr. Ahmadzai, ambassador Gass and the ISAF commander General John Allen will make their recommendations to President Karzai and the Afghan cabinet of ministers, Chambers added. "An announcement by President Karzai for the second group of areas for transition to Afghan security forces is expected to be made later this month or early in October," he asserted.

Afghan forces have taken the full control of seven areas including three provinces in the first phase of the process late on July.

The transition of security responsibility from over 140,000- strong NATO-led ISAF forces with nearly 100,000 of them Americans begun on July this year and runs to 2014 when Afghanistan is due to take over the full leadership of its own security.

According to President Barack Obama's plan, 10,000 troops will be pulled out from the insurgency-hit Afghanistan by year end, and a total of 33,000 troops will be out by next summer. "With transition, NATO and ISAF's role will change to one of support and training. The mission may change, but the commitment to the peace and security of Afghanistan will remain unwavering," Chambers added. "At the end of August, approximately 170,000 Afghan National Army, 135,000 Afghan National Police and 7,700 Afghan Local Police had completed their training. We are well in plan, actually ahead of plan, to complete the training of 353,000 Afghan National Security Forces personnel by November 2012," said ISAF spokesman Jacobson in the same press conference.


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