Obama hails ‘important step’ in Afghan transition | Pakistan Today

Obama hails ‘important step’ in Afghan transition

US President Barack Obama welcomed the Kabul government’s move Sunday to have local forces take control of security in a large new slice of the country as an “important step forward.” In the third phase of a five-tranche military transition process to bring NATO closer to getting out of the Afghan war, 122 more districts throughout Afghanistan will come under local command, putting Afghan forces in control of security for 75 percent of the population. “I welcome President (Hamid) Karzai’s announcement today of the third tranche of areas to transition to Afghan security lead, which is an important step forward in our effort to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan,”
Obama said in a statement. Government officials said the handover’s third phase would start immediately and could take as little as six months, although according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force complete transition in an area can take 12-18 months. NATO has a total of 130,000 soldiers helping the Karzai government fight an insurgency by hardline Taliban militants, and they are due to withdraw by the end of 2014 when the transition process is complete.



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