From 14 to 16 December 2011, a delegation of high ranking Afghan Military Officers, led by General Sher Mohammed Karimi (Chief of General Staff of Afghanistan) visited NATO HQ and SHAPE. General Karimi was accompanied by four commanders from the Afghan National Army Training and Education commands. This visit took place under the auspices of the NATO - Afghanistan Enduring Partnership.
natochannel.tv: Afghan Army General Optimistic about the Future
During the visit General Karimi addressed the NATO Military Committee. In addition to a general exchange of views, General Karimi updated the Military Committee on the progress made by Afghanistan in training and educating their own security forces. He and his delegation also met with high level officials of NATO International Staff and International Military Staff and SACEUR.
The visit was organized by the NATO Public Diplomacy and the Political Affairs and Security Policy Divisions. It occurred against the background of the 5 December International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn and the 8 December meeting of Foreign Ministers of ISAF Troop Contributing Nations at NATO HQ. With an eye on the already started preparations for the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, the visit provided an opportunity to exchange views on the consolidation of NATO-Afghanistan partnership throughout the completion of the process of transition to Afghan lead and beyond.
General Karimi highlighted that "transition is on track. We are confident that the end of 2014 goal for its completion will be met." He added that transition must be seen as a "comprehensive process, not a one-off event."
There was general recognition that Afghan National Security Forces continue to grow, in both quantity and quality. Today, "80% of security operations in Afghanistan are led by Afghan National Security Forces, with ISAF enabling support", General Karimi said. Continued international assistance, including through training, remains essential to achieve Afghan National Security Forces sustainability.
Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic, Assistant Secretary General for NATO Public Diplomacy, pointed out the importance of NATO's long term commitment towards Afghanistan. She said: "End of 2014 will mean the completion of a process of transition to Afghan lead. It will also mean the beginning of a new partnership between Afghanistan and the Atlantic Alliance."
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