October 18, 2012 - 16:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Hamid Karzai said Thursday, Oct 18, the nation's military and police are ready and willing to take full responsibility for security in the country if the U.S.-led international coalition decides to speed up the handover to Afghan government forces, The Associated Press reported.
With support for the already unpopular war fading in the West, there has been growing speculation that NATO could accelerate withdrawal plans that currently call for the security transition toAfghan forces to be complete by the end of 2014, when all foreign combat troops are scheduled to leave the country.
"Afghans are ready to expedite the process of transition if necessary, and willing as well," Karzai said during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "So this is in all aspects good news for us and good news for NATO."
Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance remains committed to help enable Afghan forces assume full responsibility for the country's security after 2014. The military alliance has also agreed to offer a smaller, post-2014 mission to help Afghan forces with training, advice and assistance.
"We are committed to continuing that cooperation with the Afghan national security forces," he said.
The secretary-general and NATO's governing body, the North Atlantic Council, were visiting Kabul Thursday for meetings with Karzai, coalition military commander Gen. John Allen and commanders of Afghan government forces.