US, NATO agree on Afghanistan summit

US President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have agreed to hold a NATO summit on the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

“What we’ve agreed to is that in order for us to facilitate this entire process, that it would be appropriate for us to have another NATO summit next year,” Obama said after a White House meeting with Rasmussen on Friday.

Obama said that the US and its twenty-eight NATO allies would be able to “paint a picture of the future, whereby we’re partnering with the Afghan government on behalf of the Afghan people and on behalf of world security” at the summit.

Obama added that Rasmussen would find a host country for the 2014 NATO summit.

Rasmussen said that NATO’s combat mission is to be complete by the end of 2014, and NATO is preparing a training mission for Afghanistan in 2015.

“It will be a very different mission – a non-combat mission with a significantly lower number of troops and trainers,” he said.

On February 12, US President Barack Obama announced that 34,000 troops would come back from Afghanistan by mid-February 2014, reducing the force to about 32,000.

The United States currently has about 66,000 troops in Afghanistan, down from about 100,000 in 2010.

On May 4, after signing a bilateral security agreement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that Kabul would allow the US forces to remain inside Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

Washington and Kabul signed a deal on May 2, 2012, that authorized the presence of US troops for a period of 10 years after 2014, which was the original date agreed earlier for the departure of all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan. The Afghan parliament approved the pact on May 26.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washingtonâ„¢s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV