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NATO endorses timetable to end Afghan war at Chicago Summit

May 22, 2012 - Chicago

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) leaders have endorsed plans to hand over combat role to Afghan security forces by the middle of the next year.

They confirmed in Chicago that NATO's combat troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2014, with only training units remaining.

A NATO summit statement stressed that the transition to Afghan control was 'irreversible' and that no combat mission would remain after the end of 2014, when 130,000 troops are scheduled to leave.

At the same time President Barack Obama pledged to stand by the Afghan people, The BBC reports.

Obama said NATO would continue to 'advise and assist Afghan forces as they grow stronger'.

He also, however, stressed that there would 'never be an optimum point where we can say this is all done - it's a process and sometimes a messy process.'eanwhile, NATO also said it was optimistic Islamabad would reopen supply routes that were closed after a US air strike in 2011 killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The two-day meeting brought together leaders from over 50 nations, including 28 NATO countries, as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.


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