NATO commander meets Karzai, reaffirm support to Afghanistan
By Sadaf Shinwari - 12 Feb 2013, 1:31 pm
Gen, Joseph Dunford who took command of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan met with the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) announced following a statement.
This is the first meeting between the two leaders since Dunford took command of the ISAF coalition earlier this week.
The statement further added, “The intent of today’s meeting was to pay respects to the president, reaffirm ISAF’s support to the campaign, and continue the productive relationship between ISAF and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
“I’ll endeavor to continue the momentum of the campaign and support the people of Afghanistan as they seize the opportunity for a brighter future,” said Dunford in his remarks upon taking command of ISAF.
Today’s meeting is the first step in this endeavor, ISAF said following the statement.
Dunford is expected to be the last in more than a dozen Nato and US commanders of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) since the Taliban were toppled in 2001. The hardline Islamist group then launched an insurgency that has lasted ever since.
General Joseph Dunford’s first challenge will be to speed up the final transfer of responsibility for security from western troops to the Afghan police and army, putting them in control across the country this spring, ahead of the original plan to complete the handover in late summer.
That shift in control will help pave the way for all Nato forces to head home by the end of 2014, leaving Afghans to fight the Taliban alone. A small number of US soldiers may stay behind to train Afghanistan’s military and to hunt down suspected al-Qaida members along the lawless border with Pakistan, but Washington has been explicit that they would not take on the domestic insurgency.