Afghan Gov't Claims 2nd Phase Security Transition
    2011-11-28 14:25:05     Xinhua       Web Editor: Guo
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) welcomes the release of the Afghanistan government's list of areas intended for the second stage of security transition, an ISAF press release received by Xinhua on early Monday said.

As recommended by the joint Afghan-NATO Transition Commission and approved by President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan police and army will take full control of six provinces including Balkh, Takhar, Daikundi, Samangan, Kabul and Nimroz provinces in the second phase of security transition, according to a statement from the Karzai office.

Security responsibility of seven Afghan provincial capitals and over 40 districts in different provinces will also be handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the second phase of process, the statement said.

However, the statement did not mention the exact date for the beginning of the second phase of the security transition. The transition of security in all part of Kabul province except the restive Sarobi district, 60 km east of capital city of Kabul, had been completed and the Sarobi district will be handed over to the ANSF in the second phase of the process in the near future.

The provincial capitals being handed over are Jalalabad city, Ghazni city, Maydan Shahr, Faizabad, Chaghcharan, Shibirghan and Qalay-I-Naw, according to the statement of Karzai office.

"Transition is a reality, and it is a path for the future success of this country and the Afghan people," top U.S. and NATO commander General John R. Allen said in the ISAF statement.

"There is no doubt that Afghanistan is moving forward, and with the announcement by President Karzai of the second group of Transition areas, the ANSF, who have made dramatic improvements in their development and effectiveness, will assume responsibility for security for 50 percent of the Afghan population," Allen said.

"Transition is on schedule and NATO will continue its efforts to ensure that the Afghans take security responsibility across the country by the end of 2014, in line with President Karzai's goal. This will be enabled by the growing capability and numbers of the Afghan army and police," said NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, British Ambassador Simon Gass.

"NATO is confident the transition process will succeed. Beyond 2014, we aim for a strong and lasting partnership between Afghanistan and its international partners: the end of transition is a stage in a shared journey, not the end of it," said Gass.

In the first phase of the process, the ANSF took control of seven areas in different parts of the country in July this year.

The process of taking over security from over 130,000-strong NATO-led ISAF forces by Afghan troops would be completed by the end of 2014 when Afghanistan will take over the full leadership of its own security duties from U.S. and NATO forces.

The U.S. troops with the ISAF have already begun a phase withdrawal from the insurgency-hit country in July this year, which will be followed by other NATO allies.

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