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ISAF welcomes Afghan government's transition announcement

ISAF Headquarters - Afghanistan


KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 27, 2011) — The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) welcomes the release of the Afghanistan Government’s list of areas intended for the second stage of security transition.

“Transition is a reality, and it is a path for the future success of this country and the Afghan people,” said General John R. Allen, ISAF Commander.  "There is no doubt that Afghanistan is moving forward, and with the announcement by President Karzai of the second group of Transition areas, the Afghan National Security Forces, who have made dramatic improvements in their development and effectiveness, will assume responsibility for security for 50 percent of the Afghan population.”

The transition of security responsibility is a process that can only take place when selected areas have reached a level of capability where they can take the lead role on maintaining their own security.

The list of areas intended for the second tranche of Transition covers 18 provinces, with some including the entire province while others cover city or district areas.

"The great people of Afghanistan have once again declared to the world that they are taking responsibility for the sovereign future of Afghanistan and the security of its borders, and that the Afghan people will not be denied the peace and prosperity they so richly deserve," said Allen.

NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Simon Gass, said the announcement of the second stage of transition is an important step forward for Afghanistan.

“I welcome President Karzai's announcement of the second group of areas to enter the transition process,” said Ambassador Gass.  “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.”

The announcement marks an important step for these Transition areas, but it is not the final step in the process.  ISAF security elements remain in transition areas to operate in support of and mentor Afghan security forces.  ISAF forces then leave transition areas according to a conditions-based timetable.

“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.