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Foreign Policy Analysis
Secretary General after Ministers Foreign Affairs w/non-NATO ISAF contributing nations (1/2)

Secretary General after Ministers Foreign Affairs w/non-NATO ISAF contributing nations (1/2)

Today has been a very productive day. We have
just discussed the road ahead in Afghanistan. We discussed it with NATO’s 28 Allies, with
22 non-NATO members of ISAF, with the Afghan foreign and defence ministers, with the European
Union High Representative, with the United Nations Special Representative. And the foreign
minister of Japan. All this to stress that this is truly a world-wide
effort. At our summit in Chicago, one month from now, all these countries and organisations
will come together at the highest level. Other countries who have an interest in Afghanistan’s
stability will join us too. I expect the leaders of around 60 countries and international organisations
to join us. This will be the biggest summit NATO has ever held. And the reason is simple: Afghanistan is a
concern for the whole world. We all want to see a country that is safer, stronger and
more stable. That is what we are building together. And we are making progress. We are making progress on the ground. We have
now trained more than 330,000 Afghan security forces. Afghan soldiers and police are providing
security for areas where half the country’s population lives – and I expect them to
step forward in more areas soon, as transition takes hold across the country. We are also seeing progress in our long-term
relationship. A number of Allies have concluded, or are concluding, strategic agreements with
Afghanistan. These agreements provide a strong foundation for Afghanistan’s future security. And we are seeing progress in the international
support for Afghanistan’s long-term transformation and reconstruction – putting in place the
agreements reached at the Bonn Conference in December, and paving the way for the Tokyo
Conference in July. All these strands will come together in Chicago,
as NATO and our partners set out how we will make sure the transition to Afghan security
responsibility succeeds by the end of 2014 – and how we will support Afghanistan once
transition is completed. For NATO, that will mean approving a concrete
and concerted plan for managing the final stages of transition, as the main focus of
our efforts shifts from combat to training, advice and assistance. And it will mean approving
a plan for our engagement after the end of transition in 2014. For the international community, it will mean
setting out how to support Afghanistan once transition is complete. That will include
funding sustainable and sufficient Afghan security forces. NATO and our ISAF partners
will carry our fair share of that task. But of course, this is a commitment for the whole
international community. And for our Afghan partners, it will mean
making sure that they carry through their own commitments — strengthening democracy
and the rule of law, supporting human rights, including women’s rights, and tackling corruption. We all want to see a secure Afghanistan in
a stable region. And our continued commitment to that goal is clear. And with that, I am ready to take your questions.

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